The Bridge From OneDayBow, by Kathy M. Warden
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by BookLook/WestBow Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Given the fact that the title of this book is immensely ridiculous, this is the part where you probably expect me to tear into this book. Actually, although this book is saddled with a terrible title and ambitions that are way beyond its achievement, this is actually la worthwhile book. I don’t think it’s going to be the next Pilgrim’s Progress, a book that remains vitally important, but as someone who has read my fair share of the work of John Bunyan  or works inspired by him , this book is part of a noble tradition of works that seeks to give in rhyming poetry a sense of the Christian walk through the use of clever wordplay and allusions. This author is no John Bunyon or C.S. Lewis, but the fact that this is even something one can seriously consider upon reading this book is a considerable achievement. This is a book that can be taken seriously, and that is something quite astonishing given its extremely odd title.
In terms of its contents, this book is a complete trilogy, and while it is somewhat uneven in terms of its size, its point is clear enough. The first part of the book deals with the experiences of the hero Tim in a city where people are obsessed with bobbles being offered by various obviously unreliable tempters. In many ways, and perhaps unintentionally, the book’s portrayal of demons strongly resembles John Bunyon’s treatment of the demons in his much less familiar book The Holy War, which is set in a city of fallen mankind that has departed from God’s ways, a very close parallel to this particular book, a far closer one than Pilgrim’s Progress. After making a decision to follow God, Tim crosses the terribly named bridge and becomes a believer, and his experiences in that kingdom demonstrate the slow path to virtue, before the third part shows his struggles at home to deal with his own self-will and pride and laziness, and so on. The book is told in rhyming poetry that is really well done. The author set a considerable challenge for herself and does a credible job. There were obviously things I found fault for in this particular book, but there was also genuine enjoyment to be found here, something that is a credit to the author.
It is worthwhile to at least comment on some of the objections or criticisms I had of this book. For one, the author fails to explore the questions of God’s law as being an aspect of what it means to be a citizen of God’s kingdom. This is an element that would have been easy to include. Likewise, the author does not appear to grasp the importance of God wanting to create a family of adopted children among human beings. The author could also have give Tim a marriage, presumably with the lovely Emma. Even so, the fact that one is writing a book review about elements that could have been improved is a demonstration of how well this story works. Given the fact that this book has an absolutely horrible title and enough hubris to think that it could be remembered for centuries as one of the great books of the Christian writing tradition, the fact that it is a legitimate achievement is something worth celebrating, even despite its flaws and shortcomings. This is certainly a book well worth reading and pondering.
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