Book Review: Touching His Robe by Leslie G. Nelson

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In Touching His Robe: Reaching Past the Same and Anger of Abuse, author Leslie G. Nelson uses a familiar biblical story as a framework to provide sympathetic insights to those whose relationships with God have been damaged by memories of childhood (and other) abuse, especially childhood sexual abuse.

This powerful, short book is organized into helpful chapters, making it a quick read and one worth rereading to go over certain points again, as the reader feels need. Although I was never a victim of sexual abuse, as a child I was verbally and physically abused by an authority figure (who was fired for it, but not soon enough!) The themes resonated with me.

This book is not for the faint of heart, and likely not for those who do not have some spiritual/religious focus in their lives, as the spiritual references are thoroughgoing. As someoneĀ  who considers herself spiritual (if not religious) however, this book feels like a Godsend.

Some high points worth noting:

  1. Her repeated acknowledgment of the tendency for Christian friends to try to rush the victim toward healing, to simply forget what has happened.
  2. The delicate way in which she urges believers to turn to Jesus and be honest about their anger at other people, and at God.
  3. The courage and vulnerability shown in this work, apparent in its personal style and in her many anecdotes.

Possible Trigger Warning: Although the sexual abuse is never described in detail, it is referenced throughout the text, often alongside recommendations to turn to God. The author speaks positively, as well as negatively, about leaders of her religious group (Mormon), in ways which could be a trigger for some.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this work to any Christian believers (of any denomination) seeking to come to grips with trauma, or to better understand the struggles of someone they know, so as to be able to respond.

*Note this review is based on a book I received for free from Library Thing, in exchange for an honest review.

Darren Sugrue – The Prediction

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There is something brilliant and enticing about a novel where one of the central conflicts is that you very much want for two mutually exclusive things to happen. Either the protagonist is wrong or someone is going to die.

Darren Sugrue’s The Prediction is based on the intriguing premise that a brilliant mathematician (the protagonist Daniel Giller) is able to predict the exact day of anyone’s death given certain data. Academia sneers at the idea (much as I as a reader thought – but that’s not possible) only to be forced to reconsider their claim in light of at least one apparent verification. This work reads like the very best sci-fi, as a psychological and even metaphysical study. Modern technology (mathematics and medical science) pushes the boundaries of the real – and the text reflects on what effect these developments will have on humankind.

There are some minor typographical errors and occasional awkward grammar, but these didn’t really detract from the text so I won’t mark down, but so readers are aware.

In general, I found myself highly invested in the outcome of all of the characters as well as in the metaphysical implications of the world system. The ending was highly satisfying, like emerging from a complex maze in a way that was at once surprising and made perfect sense. I would highly recommend this book to fans of mind-bending sci-fi thrillers.

Note: I was given a free copy of this book through Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. The ebook is available online in most outlets, including Amazon.