Now that I'm older, responsibilities keep me from reading as much as I would like. To be completely honest, it takes me months to read an average-sized fiction novel. But reading is very important; one should never stop reading. It broadens the mind and the verbal scope, not too mention it works the brain, encouraging thought and strengthening thinking skills. For a writer like myself, it is all the more important if I ever wish to progress.
I believe in a healthy balance of fiction and non-fiction, but I must admit, I'm a hard critic of fiction writing. That's why one of my top favorite fiction authors is Michael Phillips!
Presently, I am reading Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy by Eric Metaxas, a book I've been dying to read since it came out in 2010. But before that I read Phillips Angel Harp and, like everything I've read from him, loved it.
Here's a quick synopsis:
After the death of her husband, Marie decides to take the trip to Scotland she and he always wanted to make. there, she meets people who are kind and make her welcome, but not all welcome her arrival after a while. One of the people she meets is an unorthodox curate witha knack for putting his finger right on the dot of any situation. Another is an uncertain duke, with an intriguing and rumour-filled reputation that also involves the curate. But the person that captures her heart most is a sweet little girl some of the "auld" folk believe has occultic powers and second sight. As time goes by, Marie comes to consider Scotland more than just a nice vacation spot and realizes she has feelings for both of the men in her life. Afraid of the replaying the past, she must come to terms with her feelings and the mysteriousness of the land.
Michael Phillips has the incredible ability to take an interesting story and orchestrate clear human circumstances that opens the eyes. The characters he creates often ask the questions we all would like to know and therefore, as they discover the answer, we feel as though we have discovered the same treasure.
Have you ever noticed while reading an average novel the empty spots? An accomplished literary expert might have a more specific way of terming this, but I don't boast any such ability. The story carries you along but there are occasional nagging feelings as if you missed something or as if you can't fully visualize what the author is trying to describe. Phillips' writing fills in the blanks. It's deep, yet clearly understandable; thought-provoking yet highly entertaining.
For many people in this day and age, Michael Phillips' writing may seem unappealing and too involved for relaxation. They are used to most modern fiction novels which follows a pretty straight line when considering plot development, as well as other elements. But not so with Phillips. His story developments are rarely, if ever, predictable and always fascinating. If you haven't read any of his works, be sure and check them out! But if you have, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.