Monday, April 26, 2010

Rooms by James L. Rubart

Rooms by James L. Rubart released April 1st and already there is a need for more copies. Not a bad problem to have. And I can see why. What an amazing first novel.

Let's begin with the summary:

On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend. When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly discovers, the home isn't just spiritual, it's a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah's darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.

And now my review:

With fresh insights and powerful spins on what readers think they know, this book reminded me of David Gregory’s (Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, etc.) poignant prose. You’ll find yourself second-guessing old paradigms and willingly shifting to embrace freedom.

A thriving theme this century is “go for your dreams.” I believe God is in dreams. Jim’s book takes this to another level, challenging readers to dig deep to discover their own heart’s desires and release the past, all lies and all hindrances to God in the pursuit.

I enjoy reading of supernatural encounters with God, or supernatural settings. Every time Micah turns around he finds a new surprise. I think this element of Rooms brought something fresh and unexpected. Readers truly couldn’t hold to old paradigms when even natural laws were no longer upheld.

Christian fiction has the potential to both woo a reader closer to God, as well as help a reader find hope or life or freedom. If a book draws me to prayer, to encounter the living God, to listen for His voice again for myself, that book crosses a line. It becomes a tool in the hand of God to change people’s lives for eternity because every encounter with God matters eternally. Bravo (and thanks) to Jim for helping make that happen.

This book also brought The Shack to mind because of 1) Jim’s bold approach to the supernatural. 2) Well-depicted encounters with God (which were on a completely different plain than those of The Shack, which I also truly enjoyed). And 3) Like that book, this novel changed my life. It requires readers to take action.

I'm sure I'll be thinking about this book for a long while to come. I don’t know how a writer follows a book like this, but I hope Jim does. And soon.

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