There's a saying in literature: There are no new plot lines, just new ways of approaching the same plot lines. Grace Bridges has shown that she is a master at novel approaches with her book Faith Awakened.
Faith Awakened tells the story of two women: Mariah, one of the last survivors of a dystrophic world in which a virulent plague has destroyed 99.9 percent of mankind, and Faith, a woman who has dealt all her life with depression, bizarre memory loss and a struggle to serve the Lord even when she doesn't "feel" His presence.
Familiar plotlines? Sure--until Grace mixes the two so that Faith is Mariah, living out a new life in a virtual reality program while her body is in stasis to wait out the death of the killer virus.
That clever mix caught my interest and kept me reading. Even a month after having read the Faith Awakened, I still find myself pondering the story. Were the memory losses because of the badly connected sensors or faults in the program? Was her depression a natural extension of Mariah's circumstances or difficulties interfacing with the machine? What about her tie to the Lord: did the computer, her misconnected probe or some aspect of her personality prevent her from feeling God's presence in her alternate life? I loved how she persevered despite not having an overwhelming emotional faith experience. It reminded me of the words of a child's father to Jesus: "I believe. Help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24)
I found the Biblical messages a little heavy at times, but that's a personal pet peeve. Besides, it's part of the genre. What I find significant is that Grace wove these so well into her story that I could easily chalk them up to the characters' thoughts rather than an author-induced sermon and go on with my reading--and I wanted to go on. Grace has written a wonderful, unique story and I recommend it to any Christian reader who's looking for something out of the ordinary.
Even a month after having read Faith Awakened, I still find myself pondering the story. Grace has written a wonderful, unique story and I recommend it to any Christian reader who's looking for something out of the ordinary.
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