Book Review: Cross Roads
Author: Wm. Paul Young
Publisher: FaithWords; Hachette Book Group
I don’t read a lot of fiction these days, although I used to read it almost exclusively. I picked up Cross Roads because I enjoyed The Shack, also written by Wm. Paul Young, so much. Let me say from the start, I was not disappointed in the least by Cross Roads and found it to be a wonderfully engaging read. I do not think it fair to judge or compare it to The Shack, so I will do my best to review it on its own merits while trying not to spoil the plot for those who have not read it.
One thing I have loved about both books by Paul Young is his nuanced use of allegory. The imagery and description of his writing draws you into the scene unawares that there is a parallel to the Christian experience being revealed, then suddenly you captured by the “picture behind the picture.” I love this! When this type of revelation/realization occurs, I start to subconsciously layer my own experiences and stories over those I read in this work of fiction. The lines between the stories, real and make believe, begin to blur and I am caught up in the message of the “big story.” This is the gift of Wm. Paul Young.
The strengths of the book, in my opinion, are directly related to imagery and allegory. I think Young is masterful at this without being too obvious or over-the-top. As mentioned earlier, there were several occasions I found myself reading along, being drawn into the moment, and then having a sudden awakening to “Hey! He’s describing something other and deeper than just this scene!” Additionally, I think the characters and their development are very real…they are people we know, people we love, and they are us. I find it easy to follow the characters; to get in step with them…ponder what they may do next and identify with their choices.
I suppose if there is any critique or weakness in the book (again, my own opinion), it might be the abruptness in which the story concludes. At the risk of revealing spoiler info, I will not go further with my reasoning, but will add that this might be intentional. Personally, I wanted the story to continue and I wanted more resolution with some of the other sub-characters…this is probably one of the signs of a good book.
I feel confident sharing this book with anyone and will recommend it with highest regard. I think Cross Roads can be the catalyst for conversations or stimulus for personal reflection; I know it has been this for me. Thank you, Paul Young, for another great read.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from speakeasy to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”