Thursday, February 08, 2007

Book Review: "The Shepherds' Prayer" by Richard M. Barry

Short but sweet

The Christmas season may be over but its story is always timely. I enjoyed reading this book. Its short and you can probably finish it in one sitting, but the story will last with you for a long time. I love biblical fiction that gives familiar characters from the Bible a storyline and a personality. Anam is a young man trying to find out his true identity. All he has from his birth parents is a blanket proclaiming the birth of a child in Bethlehem. Using this clue he goes to seek out who he really is. As he discovers the truth, he meets up with a group of shepherds, who are considered to be outcasts from the rest of the town. After hearing their story, he learns just how special that child was and how he is connected to that miraculous birth.

This is one of the first times I've read about the perspective of the people who had to deal with the slaughter of the male infants. I never thought about how painful and resentful they would be about Jesus, because his birth had caused them to suffer for no reason. The shepherds are given heroic status in this book, as the unsung heroes of the nativity story. They are usually portrayed as dirty and simple but you know why they were chosen to know about the birth of Jesus. I also liked very much that Jesus came back to hang out with them and reminisce. It made him more human to talk about how his mom still remembered them and Anam's family. I liked the twist about who Anam really is (don't want to spoil, but he's in the Bible). It gives yet another perspective on a familiar Bible character. I also did enjoy learning more about the culture and history of the time period.

This is a book everyone can read. It'd be perfect for parents to read aloud to their children, one chapter at time. Very well written, highly enjoyable, and thought provoking.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Deborah - sorry about not sending books to the US! My hubby is out of work at the moment so the budget just won't stretch that far! I have just finished Elementary and it was a keeper. Hope you check out the review when it is posted.

    ReplyDelete

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