This month, CFRB presents Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove.
About the Book:
Twenty-something Kate Davis can't seem to get this grieving widow thing right. She's supposed to put on a brave face and get on with her life, right? Instead she's camped out on her living room floor, unwashed, unkempt, and unable to sleep-because her husband Kevin keeps talking to her.
Is she losing her mind?
Kate's attempts to find the source of the voice she hears are both humorous and humiliating, as she turns first to an "eclectically spiritual" counselor, then a shrink with a bad toupee, a mean-spirited exorcist, and finally group therapy. There she meets Jack, the warmhearted, unconventional pastor of a ramshackle church, and at last the voice subsides. But when she stumbles upon a secret Kevin was keeping, Kate's fragile hold on the present threatens to implode under the weight of the past. And Kevin begins to shout.
Will the voice ever stop? Kate must confront her grief to find the grace to go on, in this tender, quirky story about second chances.
Very rarely do I come across a book that just leaves me floored the whole way through. Except for one tiny little break, I read this book from cover to cover, and loved every second of it. While it's not a book that I would normally go out of my way to read, words cannot adequately express how impressed I was after reading this fabulous debut novel.
Talking to the Dead is a great example of an author thinking outside the box and finding a new niche in the Christian fiction arena. I have never come across a Christian fiction novel that dealt with any type of mental illness, much less mental institutions and shrinks, and how individuals seek help (be it worldly or spiritual) for those problems in the real world. Even though the Christian aspects of the novel were a tad bit watered down in places, I really applaud the author for showing what some churches/pastors are like in the real world, particularly, the scene with Jack's father. It literally broke my heart to read through Kate's experience with this fictitious pastor, knowing that there really are pastors and church leaders out there that use the same tactics.
Talking to the Dead is now firmly planted on my all-time favorites list. Now, I must begin the impatient wait for whatever she has in store for her next book. If all of Bonnie's books are as great as this one, I'll be a fan for life.
About the Author:
Bonnie Grove started writing when her parents bought a typewriter, and she hasn't stopped since. Trained in Christian Counseling (Emmanuel Bible College, Kitchener, ON), and secular psychology (University of Alberta), she developed and wrote social programs for families at risk while landing articles and stories in anthologies. She is the author of Working Your Best You: Discovering and Developing the Strengths God Gave You; Talking to the Dead is her first novel. Grove and her pastor husband, Steve, have two children; they live in Saskatchewan.
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