Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: The Reluctant Prophet
Author: Nancy Rue
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release Date: October 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Fiction
Year/Setting: Present day, St. Augustine, FL
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Nancy's Website/Blog: www.nancyrue.com
As a fan of Ms. Rue’s other fantastic stories, I was extremely excited to see this one arrive in my mailbox. Not to mention, it is the first in a series that she’s writing, which means there are more "gems" to come.
The woman we meet is Allison Chamberlain. Allison comes from a wealthy family who she just, shall we say, didn’t see eye to eye with when she was younger. In fact, she truly believed that their money was the only thing that ever mattered to them, and she ended up being disowned by her parents. When a tragedy struck her family, Allison spent most of her time later in life with her nanny, Sylvia, who was literally the one great soul in the world who taught Allison that Jesus was on earth…all she had to do was find him.
Years later Allison is sitting in church. She definitely found Jesus over seven years ago, she just hasn’t quite figured out what to do with Him yet. On this one worship day, she feels very unsettled; she’s trying to listen to the Reverend, but it seems as if his voice is simply droning on and on. Allison takes in the familiar faces around her, including the truly faithful who seem to wear a pained face that looks almost as if they’re suffering from acid reflux; and, the seven year olds who are looking around, with their fingers permanently shoved up their noses. She can also feel the stare of Bonner – a man who is most certainly her friend, but feels that since they’re the only two single people in the church than they should be dating. All of a sudden, Allison feels a nudge on her shoulder, yet no one is anywhere near her in the pew. Then she hears the voice…the voice of Him, and He says: Allison, go out and buy a Harley.
Not exactly the type of message she was expecting, considering that she can’t even ride a motorcycle. But something about that moment feels absolutely true and honest to Allison, so she decides to either, ignore the voice and chalk it up to schizophrenia; or, go out and purchase the ridiculous contraption and perhaps get locked up in the loony-bin. When she decides to "go with God," not only do her friends get extremely frightened, but her neighbors on the nice, quiet street where she lives, end up completely against her for driving that "awful" piece of machinery down their peaceful street.
Soon, Allison is spending her time with a fantastic woman named Hank, who shows up on her doorstep to teach her how to ride the Harley without killing herself. Hank is an army chaplain who has recently been counseling soldiers back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and ends up to be Allison’s biggest supporter. Add in a HOG rider named Chief who is the person who originally gets Allison entrenched in a lost woman’s life, and you have the makings of a heart warming, and extremely humorous story.
I can’t tell you how much I agreed with the things that Allison Chamberlain said about religion, etc. Her character was part of a Christian group that met every Wednesday, and part of a church family every Sunday…but she noticed that when she truly needed help for the REALLY poor, unfortunate people in the world who were falling apart at the seams, her church family only seemed to want to help the people behind their church doors. It was as if without wealth and being the "right kind of people," the so-called Christians turned into hypocrites who never wanted to get too far outside their comfort zone. (Unfortunately, I was a member of a church such as this once upon a time.)
I want to give a big round of applause to this author, because she not only had me laughing and crying with her great story, she also had the unbelievable ability to tell the truth without tiptoeing around the subject. Many, many people should read this story. The mystery, the adventure, the friendships that are made, are absolutely, without a doubt, can’t miss literary moments. Bravo!
Until next time,
Question or comment regarding the review or the book? Click here and let Amy know.