I have had a pile of books sitting ready for review for a while!! It has been a busy April, that is for sure!!
The Gate by Dann A. Stouten is the book up for review today! This story is not a new one, but the details surrounding this specific story are their own!
The Gate is about a man, Schuyler Hunt, who plans a mini get-away while his wife and daughters are in the city shopping. He chooses to return to a childhood place that holds many memories from his past. When he arrives he meets a man who he believes to be a realtor trying to hold an open house, but very quickly he realizes there is more going on than he expected.
He meets different “people” while staying at the cabin, one represents God, another Jesus, and another the Holy Spirit. Along with the Big Three, he seems to have a visitor each day who has died. During each encounter he is taken back to memories from his past and he is forced to examine his choices and their effects on his life.
Each chapter is titled a character trait like forgiveness or potential – and each reflection centers around those ideas.
I enjoyed how the story ambled along – it was interesting to see Schuyler face his past and find new realizations. While the pace is a slower one, I think it allows the reader to think through some similar ideas in their own lives. There are plenty of details that continue to draw you in and keep you following along.
This would be a great book to read when you have time to think through the ideas the author is trying to get you to examine. It would be a great book to read and discuss with a group or family as well! I recommend this book as an interesting summer read. I did not take this book to be “theologically educational”, and I read it for what it was : a fictional story with some insightful ideas. Some may not agree with the characterizations of Jesus or God, however I did not have any problem with they way they were represented!
About the book:
When an ad for a vacation cottage catches the eye of a man on the edge of burnout, he impulsively sets off to visit the property while his wife and daughters are away. When he arrives and is ushered through the gate, he finds something far different from the typical vacation retreat. In fact, it seems he may have found the back door to heaven. The proprietor and people from his past welcome him with food, rest, and conversation until what started out as a little escape from everyday life turns into an experience he will never forget.
About Dann :
Dann A. Stouten is senior pastor of Community Reformed Church in Zeeland, Michigan, one of the fastest-growing churches on the West Michigan lake shore. After a highly successful career in the auto industry, Dann returned to school and earned his Masters of Divinity & Doctor of Ministry, Narrative Preaching at Western Theological Seminary. He is also a devoted husband, father of three and a grandfather.
NOTE : I was offered a copy of The Gate, in exchange for an honest review.