We love Davis Bunn's books at my house. Whether it's his Marc Royce series (Dad's favorite) or his Acts of Faith series with Janette Oke (which introduced him to us) or his movie-based novel Unlimited (which we all enjoyed) we get to explore a new world and get caught up in the story.
I was excited to get The Turning into my hands.
Now, depending on what you're looking for, this may instantly be your favorite story of the year, or you may have to work at understanding this book.
I fell into the latter category. It took about 134 pages before the story started shaping up for me, so don't worry if you don't "get it" right away.
This is the story of five individuals, each with a Turning that they must take. God speaks to each of them, whispering the encouragement they need to make those hard choices and move in a good direction. There seems to be no similarity between these men and women. There is a daughter who clashes constantly with her traditional Chinese ultra-conservative Tea Party parents; a man who wants to help his nephew begin 'life after prison' and doesn't know how; a woman who's been estranged from her baby-sister-all-grown-up for several years.... just for starters.
We watch as these people come together, without any planning on their own part, and begin to be knit into the fabric of each other's lives.
They need all the community they are building: They're about to enter a battle.
The battle is against a man, who wants to make something unforgettable of himself. He's been considered Nothing all his life, now he wants to be Something. He wants to be a trendsetter, not a trend follower. His trend? It must be something that will take over the minds of millions.
It must appeal to the inner emptiness of life in a broken world, the lovelessness of life in a cruel world, and the darkness of life where the Light is constantly assaulted. And it must exploit all those feelings.
That's a powerful set-up, isn't it?
From there, we begin to ask questions, because this is a book that gets mental juices flowing, and conversations going.
For example, it really made me consider whether the uptick in Dystopian publication really does stem from a hopelessness in the youth.
I didn't originally think so. After all, when I read the Hunger Games, I wasn't convinced the world was destined to be dark and grow darker.
I thought that dystopians showed that humans can be depraved and have a huge capacity for violence, and also a great loyalty and longing for Goodness.
I figured that a thoughtful dystopian reminds us that evil like slavery and the Holocaust occurred in history, that the same evil lurking in human hearts could bring terrible destruction about again, so we needed to seek God and never forget that we too can lose our way.
The Turning did make me wonder if too much dark/paranormal/dystopian books and movies and video games are being circulated, In which case we certainly need the message: Hope Is Not Dead.
I think that the story about Hope Not Being Dead would have been equally as powerful if we had simply followed the five through their daily lives, showing reunion, restoration, and reconciliation between people and God.
Thank you for my review copy!
An internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than seven million books in sixteen languages, Davis is equal parts writer, scholar, teacher, and sportsman.