I’ve heard the Prodigal Son story a zillion times. However. And this is a huge HOWEVER. Next to Jesus’ original version, Charles Martin’s version is the best I’ve read.
I’m not a cry-er. I can remember only two books that made me shed actual tears. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah and Long Way Gone.
This is a very modern story about a boy and his dad. And they both play guitars. And it’s about worship and using your gifts and the Nashville music scene and going home even though it’s too late. And it’s about music and how it’s a language all unto itself. And there’s the whole, “finding yourself” and knowing yourself and trusting your dad – or not trusting him. And then learning – the hard way – that he’s a very trustworthy guy. It’s about your metaphorical father, your physical father and your heavenly father and finding your way back home.
This story includes all the ingredients required for the best tales. A flawed hero. A lady in distress. Difficult decisions, bad and good. Redemption. Forgiveness. And an overflow of emotion. I mean . . . I cried actual tears I had to wipe off my face.
This is an excellent story. It’s the same as one of my favorite Bible stories, but it’s also told with fresh words in a modern setting in ways that actually help me see that I am that prodigal son. We all are. For realz. So yeah, it’s a Christian book. But if a reader did not know the prodigal parable, this story would touch his heart, just the same. It carries the best possible message, the message that is insinuated in the title and expressed in the Biblical version, “You can always go home.” And we can, even though the lies that sway us speak else-wise.
And maybe home is not a physical place. It might be a person. It might be a prayer. But wherever and whomever and whenever home is for us, there is always our Father waiting, looking down the road, watching for us so he can run to us, arms wide open.
Read this book. When you get to the end, it feels like falling into those waiting arms. Though the road may be rough, the landing will be sure.
5 stars. Might be my favorite book ever. But I’m loathe to call any my absolute favorite. Trust me, this is a phenomenal book.