Lessons For Us All
Voice In The Storm by Eric Thomas Ruthford is a marvellous contemporary Christian YA novel that has lessons for us all to learn, no matter how old we are.
The book follows a group of teens at summer camp and in their daily lives. They are all thirteen/fourteen years old and on the cusp of adulthood. The book is split into five parts as we follow four teens and see the action from the various points of view.
We witness their troubles, their highs and lows as they attempt to be good Orthodox Christians in the world.
There is the isolation of a character who has started a new school. Being incredibly clever at science fails to win any popularity contests, especially as she seems to be more knowledgeable than her science teacher who fails to stop the bullying. This further isolates her.
There are also the heart-breaking themes of PTSD and subsequently substance and alcohol abuse. A child of thirteen is forced to become the adult. “I kept asking God to tell me how to fix Dad.” We cannot fix anyone. Our job is to pray, and leave the fixing to God. “I was responsible for praying… I wasn’t responsible for coming up with a way to fix it.”
On another teen, we witness the detrimental effect of a marriage breakdown. As parental voices get louder, a character retreats into himself. At summer camp, he receives an accolade from his peers as he has a remarkable gift. Can you guess what it is?
There is young love and jealousy. Animosity breaks out until a near tragedy reveals the true value of friends.
We see the pressures of being a Pastor’s Kid with the expectations that they too, will enter the ministry. Personal dreams seem to be being sacrificed.
There is much value in being a peacemaker. Strangely enough it is a teen who pours balm on an angry adult.
All the characters were well drawn, realistic and likable. I found the book highly entertaining even though I am considerably older than the target market.
I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
I will leave you with my favourite and most powerful quote:
“God loves a broken heart, and I had to accept I could offer one.”
I received a free copy from the author. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.