Such a great novel that provides so many amazing quotes for life!
November 9, 2014
Heaven is a very real place. As believers, we have the hope and faith of believing that when this life ends, our eternal one ends. Dann A. Stouten in his debut novel shares one such experience of Schuyler Hunt, who takes a journey one afternoon while his wife and daughters head out for a all-girls shopping trip to inquire about a cottage for sale. This cottage reminds him of the one from his childhood and might just be the perfect thing to consider making a purchase on to help his own family share in his favorite times at the lake!
Sky needs this time alone not only to reflect on his favorite times at the cottage, but also to get away from the stress of always coming to the aid of her younger brother Ben. It always seems like Sky has bailed Ben out of one financial mess after another and this time is no exception. Ben has overspent on the line of credit the bank has extended on the used car lot his brother now manages. Instead of immediately coming to his rescue again, he simply needs to take some time to consider just what to do, and another perfect reason for this trip.
Only when he arrives, he gets more than he bargained for when he arrives at the entrance of the property in a rain storm and gets his car stuck in the mud. Knowing it's late, he decides to sleep in the car until morning. When he arrives at the real estate office, he meets Michael DeAngelo who tells Sky, they have been expecting him. Sky figures his wife has made these arrangements and thinks nothing of his comment. He is escorted into the cottage, where he meets Ahbee who makes him an amazing breakfast. Ahbee tells him that he is about to get a true taste of heaven, but doesn't understand all the implications just yet. He thinks Ahbee is taking about the home made cinnamon rolls he made for breakfast. Sky thinks he truly has gotten away from all the cares of home and is now in God's country. Ahbee tells him that he is and he will be learning quite a few things during his stay at the cottage, but whether he stays or not is his choice.
What Sky is about to encounter will truly be a heavenly experience as he enters Angel's Gate and spends some time at the cottage reflects on God's interaction in his life and the people who have moved on to heaven are now given a rare moment in time to share something that God wants each of them to pass along to Sky in his quest for answers to the problems in his life. There are so many great and inspirational quotes it is too hard to list them all here, but trust me, once you pick this one up, you will also find yourself on your own journey into a small slice of heaven!
This novel reminded me so much of Mitch Albom's One More Day in which the main character Sky finds himself in heaven where he gets to visit with those who have died for a day. His mother, grandparents, friends and mentors all share a bit of heavenly wisdom along with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to encourage and inspire Sky to become a much better person with the time he has left on earth. He remembers that "time is an unrenewable resource that should never be wasted," and spends the "time" he is here learning from those who have gone before them. This is such a wonderful novel that gives us all a glance into what heaven might be like and cause us to live our lives with the time we have left on earth, with more passion, purpose and love. I'd rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.
My immediate thought was, why would the author name it something so closely aligned with the popular, but non biblical book, "The Shack"? It started very much like a ripoff, albeit more Biblical and never reached far beyond that. I was underwhelmed and felt it was weak and boring.
When I bought this book I had never heard of the author, therefore I wasn't sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. It's a very relaxing read. The book gave me a different perspective on seeing life, and it also made God and Jesus much more real to me. This book is such a blessing. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Tell the author to write another one!!