There are none so blind as those who will not see.
I’m not much of a reader of fiction. I’ve read the first 175 pages of Crime and Punishment three times. For some reason, I just can’t make it to the end. When I do manage to finish a novel, it usually takes me a few months. Vanda laughs as me because she’ll read about seven books before I finish one.
I’ve realized that part of my problem is the difficulty I have remembering names. It’s annoying to get half way through a book and have no idea who a character is that has reappeared after several chapters. My wife is also amused by my practice of writing names in the back of my book (or on a piece of paper I use as a book mark if it’s a library book) with a brief description to alleviate my frustration. But, it has improved my fiction-reading pace.
Willow Feller is an author who creates characters who are believable and memorable, so much so that I’m convinced they are based on actual people. I wrote their names in the back of the book, but I rarely needed to refer to the list because I feel like I know them.
Haley Ann Ewing is a very pregnant wife and teacher who moves with her husband across the country from the suburbs of Philadelphia to a tiny town in Montana where they attend Buffalo Jump Community Church. She loves to update her facebook status using her smart phone (that she calls Hal) with pictures of fashion fails, usually of her Great Aunt Winnie whom she abhors.
I’m terrified of understating Willow’s clever writing, so here’s some of the description on the back of her book:
Facing a cataclysmic identity crisis, pregnant Haley is battling for her very life – her life as an eco-chic, vegan Christian, that is. She hadn’t counted on being thrust into a war zone when she agreed to leave her East Coast life and go with her husband, Rick, to the Montana outback for the summer. And she certainly hadn’t counted on attending a ladies Bible study in a smoky, rancid saloon. Rather than run from it, though, Haley decides it is her God-given mission to subdue and educate the redneck forces that discount her superior vocabulary and sophisticated hairdo. With no help from Rick or his freaky Aunt Win, Haley dives headfirst into her mission only to find herself sucked irretrievably into a maelstrom of humiliating mishaps.
The book isn’t preachy, but it hits heavy on how Christians can become sanctimonious without knowing it. The irony most glaring is that the main character spends the bulk of the book pointing out everyone else’s errors while missing out on her own. Her shallow faith causes her to underestimate God’s people as she spends so much time overestimating her own calling.
I’ve heard that humor is important because it disarms people’s aversion to hearing the truth. Willow Feller has done a brilliant job of attacking a poignant message for God’s people and weaving it within a story that will have you rolling in laughter. I know because it’s a book of the fiction genre that I’ve actually finished . . . and so will you.