Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Talking to the Dead


Talking to the Dead
by: Bonnie Grove

This book has had me kinda torn. The book is very well written. Ms. Grove keeps your curiosity peeked throughout the book. She is very descriptive, helping you put yourself right in the house, office, church, etc. You really do feel like you know the characters and can picture them in your mind very easily. She is also very knowledgeable and you can tell that the book was very well researched.

However, I do have a few concerns. The book wasn't exactly what I expected from the description on the back of the book. I do not like how much the book focuses on psychological practices and medicine for mental healing. I personally believe in biblical counseling. In 2 Peter 1:3 Peter tells us that "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." I also do not like the feelings-based 'God-experience' that is thrown in at the end. Nowhere does anyone encourage her to, neither does she call upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:9-10).

*Please note that these are my personal preferences and beliefs and I understand that those reading this may feel different*

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.

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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7 comments:

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

Great review, Julie...I couldn't agree more!

~ Lori

G.R.I.T.S. said...

Great Review!!!
Rae

cathikin said...

good, concise review. So I see that I wasn't the only one wishing for a bit more of the spiritual and Biblical solution for Kate. It is, however, an extremely well-written book that will grab the reader.

Steve G said...

You said "I do not like how much the book focuses on psychological practices and medicine for mental healing. I personally believe in biblical counseling. In 2 Peter 1:3 Peter tells us that "His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence."

Does this apply to a broken leg or an infection or do you limit this just to a broken or stressed brain? I really am interested in where you draw that line.

John said...

My God has promised to keep me in perfect peace as I trust in Him. This same gracious God has commanded that I be anxious for nothing but replace that anxiety with prayer and thankfulness. He again makes me a promise and says that His peace, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

Are there chemical imbalances, diseases, and disorders that need medical attention? Of course! But from my understanding none of these were the issue. Her "stressed brain" was a lack of any kind of Biblical response to her problems.

Julie said...

Steve, thank you for presenting your question. And John, thank you for your response.

I did say 'for mental healing' in the review. That is exactly what I meant. The issues that this woman was dealing with in this particular book were mental/spiritual issues. With this book being labeled 'Christian Fiction' I expected there to be more biblical aspects to her healing. The doctor in the book at one point tells her that he will not see her anymore if she does not take the medicine he wants her to take - there was no consideration for a chemical imbalance or anything. I agree with John - as Christians God has given us a promise of His being able to 'keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus'.

Furthermore, the verse I referenced, in context (as I used it), goes on to give a list of character traits and that "if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." vs 8. There is nothing mentioned in this passage about physical healing.

However I do believe God has given us brains and he expects us to use them. Through that I believe we have discovered many wonderful ways of helping physical issues, which is fine. However, I fully believe that issues of the heart and mind should be dealt with from the Bible. Call sin, sin. Don't excuse it away to something that happened in your childhood or blame it on the person that hurt your feelings or find a reason not to forgive. True biblical counseling does not excuse the influence of those things, but it helps you to biblically address them and not make excuses.

Lee Smith said...

I enjoy reading your reviews. I gave you an award on my blog. You can find it at:

http://leesmithwriting.blogspot.com/2009/11/one-lovely-blog-award.html