This book kept me up quite late into the night. It is a profoundly disturbing tale—that ends on an equally hopeful note. It is not for the easily offended or easily upset. The author confronted the fact that humans do not always live up to the best ideals of their faith. In fact, sometimes they fail spectacularly. That difficult reality caused him a great deal of difficulty at a time in his life when he was vulnerable and should have been helped by those who hurt him.
In that sense, this book is difficult, because it shows people who are not living up to their faith. However, I noticed and appreciated that the author never attacked the faith because those who professed it were not all they should have been. In fact, that is part of the point of the book. Life is difficult, and the fact that we have faith or believe the teachings of a church will not insulate us from difficulties. But the point of faith is to give us strength—not to point out the failings of others.
This is ultimately, a hopeful story, one that reminds of us the miracles that can happen when God is allowed in our lives. It also reminds us to be kind to those who struggle and to keep Christian compassion and kindness at the center of interactions with each other.
A very gripping, intense, soul-searching book.