Saturday, April 24, 2010

Unlikely Saint by Allan Connor

                                    Book description:

Willis Cameron needs a fresh start. Estranged from his overly-controlling father and heartbroken over the loss of his first love, Willis decides to take a job in Ghana, West Africa, as an education specialist for a Canadian government project.

Once in Ghana, Willis meets Esther Ferguson, a missionary nurse. Although she is engaged to be married to a doctor back in Canada, Willis finds himself strangely attracted to her as she challenges his agnosticism. As Willis struggles to find purpose and meaning in his life, Esther grows confused by her increasing regard for Willis. Is her commitment to her fiancé faltering? Could she be falling in love with a man who doesn’t share her faith?

In the midst of Ghana’s social upheaval and political turmoil, Willis and Esther each struggle with their own internal turmoil, ultimately discovering that God has a plan for each of them which is quite different than their own.

My review:

This was an enjoyable read. It is set in Guana, Africa, and the description of what life is there was interesting. The book is written from the first person perspective, but it bounces back and forth between the two main characters, with each chapter stating whose persepective is being written.

There is romance in the story, but the main point of the book is about how a young agnostic comes to be a Christian. There is dialogue between he and a Christian about evolution & creation, and discussions on the proof of God, which is interesting, and the fictional character and reader both benefit from that.

The story is set in the late 70's, so it was different to read a story where computers and cell phones and some other more modern techonogies such as that aren't ruling people's lives.

I did have a couple of issues with the book. Anyone who has read very many of my reviews know how strongly I feel about curse words appearing in a Christian book, and this had that, unfortunately. One use of the "d" word, and two uses of "hell" as a curse. I was disappointed that those were allowed in the book, but that is a first for this publisher that I have ran across. Also, the drinking of beer by Christians - I know there are a lot of churches and Christians that are Ok with that, but there are still a lot of churches that are not. I fall into the latter.

Overall, the book is worth reading, not only for an enjoyable read, but a reminder that God does exist.

About the author:

While serving as an agriculturalist in India, Allan Connor came to faith in Christ. That experience gave him great confidence in the Bible and a deep desire to share Christ with others. Ten years in India and a later assignment in Ghana, West Africa, as an adult-education specialist with the Canadian International Development Agency gave him a grassroots understanding of life in developing countries. His wide experience as an educator—in overseas assignments, as a community development representative with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, as a freelance writer for Christian and secular magazines, and as a Bible teacher in his local church—honed his communication skills. He is also a hopeless romantic at heart, so the writing of a love story held great appeal.

Now retired, Allan lives in Port Hope, Ontario, with his wife. The couple has two adult children; a physician son and a journalist daughter. Allan was an avid gardener until post-polio syndrome reduced his mobility.

An Unlikely Saint is available from Winepress Publishing.

Thanks to Winepress for the review copy.