Monday, October 28, 2013

Bridging the Generations

The back cover of Letters From Ruby states “Not everything a young pastor needs to now can be taught in school” which sums up the first novel by Episcopal priest Adam Thomas quite well. As I work with many young ministers during my day job, I can attest to the truth of this statement and that much of what happens in ministry as well as any job must be experienced in real life. The main character, Calvin, quickly steps on toes and identifies the congregation’s official and unofficial leaders. Shortly after his arrival, Calvin experiences both the death of a parishioner as well as the birth and baptism of a new generation. Throughout his experiences in Victory, Calvin can count on his Morning Prayer ladies to guide him.

Thomas uses a variety of techniques to share Calvin’s adventures as a young priest as well as the story of Ruby and her husband. Calvin’s story begins in the present and then via flashback tells the story of his time in Victory, West Virginia when he first meets Ruby. His flashback is prompted by a letter from Ruby which, as the title indicates, appears regularly throughout the book. The juxtaposition of Calvin’s story and the letters give the reader almost the feeling of reading two stories at once yet the two techniques work together to tell an integrated story.

Some readers may be unfamiliar with various terms used in Letters from Ruby as it is set in an Episcopal church. Author, Adam Thomas, explains some unfamiliar terms and practices in passing, yet also expects readers to have some familiarity. Reading this book just may entice you to seek out a local Episcopal congregation to visit. Letters from Ruby shows how much different generations can learn from each other. As such, this book will appeal to individuals who enjoy a warm WWII romance and those who are looking for a more contemporary story as well. I hope to see more books from Adam Thomas in the future and perhaps even more about Calvin as he continues to grow in his ministry.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

No comments: