Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review: Not Alone by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

Not Alone
by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

26489271Find a comfortable chair and spend a few hours with Joe-and if you're blessed in a magnificent way, you may encounter a world that can change your life forever. Have a good visit! Have any of you suffered an injustice, been overlooked, ignored, rejected? Has anyone been denied, repudiated, negated, humiliated, devastated, infuriated, frustrated, or transgressed upon? You're a good person. So why have people disrespected, slighted, wounded, snubbed, oppressed, held down, discriminated against, beaten down, distressed, tortured, haunted, bullied, teased, tormented or talked smack about you? Why? And when it was over, did you think... I don't deserve this! Why me? I'm a good person! If someone is going to get divorced, have a heart attack, be mugged or raped, blown up by a terrorist, lose a limb in an accident, be swindled, slandered, foreclosed on, or fired, don't you think it should happen to someone who deserves it? It should never happen to me! I'm a good person! Well, if any of this has happened to you, I just want you to know that Joseph Michael Moretti has found the answer!

My Take:
Joe Moretti has it all - a beautiful wife, a thriving business, a lovely home on the beach, and five kids who are successfully launched into life. He has a strong faith in God and a stellar future.

But in the spiritual realm, Satan has maligned him and petitioned God to remove the hedge of protection around the life of Joe and his family, and when he loses it all, Joe will curse God to His face. So God gives Satan carte blanc to attack Joe and his family, but denies him freedom to take his life. Will Joe retain his faith, or turn his back on God?

Drug Content:
PG - There is some heavy drinking at a party or two. 

R+ - There is a very bloody scene where demon-driven Satan worshippers do something horrific to multiple people. One is beheaded, there is torture mentioned. There is rape and murder in that scene. The aftermath scene is described somewhat but not in explicit detail.

PG-13 - There's a significant amount of cussing, from demons, and from Christians as well. The F-bomb is not dropped, that I recall.

Adult Content:
PG-13 - As mentioned above, there's rape, torture, and murder briefly described. The description is somewhat disjointed but still disturbing. Several scenes occur where married couples have sex, but the description doesn't get too graphic.

Christian content:
This is a retelling of the story of Job, with a few twists. It has a bit of scripture in it, and the characters struggle with their faith under tremendous pressure. The depiction of the spiritual world is given as much airtime as the physical realm, and the battles between the angels and demons are violent and compelling. The characters are Catholic and seek help from a priest. Some of his advice is sound. There's a substantial amount of content that points to Word of Faith teaching. Parts of this novel are very dark, and delve into questions of sanity, evil, God's sovereignty, Satan's purpose and power, and our power over our circumstances and his attacks.

Final analysis:
There are parts of this novel that could use a good edit, but the characters and their struggles are very real, the questions raised and stakes compelling. The battles in the spiritual realm and the minions that wage them were exciting but a bit confusing. For the most part, this book was a good look into the circumstances, psychology, and spiritual struggle contained in Job, and as such has merit and value. I found the pace a bit slow. The settings were realistic, the emotions raw; four stars

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