Friday, June 5, 2015

The Book of Strange New Things

The Book of Strange New Things, Michael Faber

This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning and would not let it drop until the final page.

Peter Leigh was converted in adulthood from a life of addiction and crime, by the influence of the woman he grows to love and marry, Beatrice.  He has since become a committed Christian and church pastor, and is chosen by USIC, a multi-national corporation to travel to another universe to preach the gospel to the native inhabitants of the planet Oasis.

Peter sets off, full of excitement and hope about what he is called to do by God for these people. He expects hardship, language learning, cultural difficulties and problems to affect him, yet goes in the full excitement of serving the Lord in the way he has been called. Meanwhile Bea is left behind fully supportive, but not chosen to go with him.

The book details what Peter experiences on Oasis both with the other humans who are there in the settlement and with the native Oasans, which confound him yet also bring him joy and excitement. Meanwhile, his communication with Bea gives the reader an insight into what continues to happen on earth while Peter is gone and how his departure affects their relationship.

I hesitate to give any more details than that because it really would spoil the power of the story. Suffice it to say, for those that are Christians some of it will resonate with you, and some of it will cause to you to imagine how you would react in similar circumstances. Faber has managed to write about religion and mission in a balanced way and while you will not agree with all Peter says or does, it is a portrayal that has depth and insight.

I really enjoyed it and it has stuck in my mind for some time after.

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

Hi Wendy,
I got this book from my Dad for Christmas but haven't gotten time to read it yet (and Dad wants to know what I think of it!). Thanks for this review which makes me look forward to reading the book.