03/05/2001

The Visitation (by Frank Peretti)

Some of Frank Peretti's novels are too suspenseful for me, even though I know they have Christian themes. However I did very much enjoy both 'This Present Darkness' and 'Piercing the Darkness', and having picked this one up inexpensively on the MV Doulos, I thought I'd try it.

'The Visitation' is the story of a young man who arrives in a small American town, and starts doing miracles. Some claim that he is Jesus, some are sure he is not. The ministers in the town are divided.

Travis, the previous Pentecostal minister, has been in depression due to losing his wife, but events force him out of his apathy and he joins forces with his successor against the visitor. In doing so, he re-lives, in flashback, much of his own life.

It's a very cleverly written book, with an exciting climax and satisfactory conclusion. There was actually less suspense than I had been afraid of, and there's even a little mild humour in places, as well as a satirical look at some of the extremes of charismatic mega-churches.

The book has a slightly odd style, mixing first person and third person narratives, but on the whole it works well, and I enjoyed it.

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