Most of you have probably figured out that I love to read. But over the past year and a half, most of what I have read has been review copies of new releases.
A while back, a friend reminded me that it is important to read for pure pleasure sometimes. So when my local Christian bookstore ran “bargain books” on sale for buy one, get one free this past weekend, I bought a whole stack of them!
One of the books I purchased was David Housholder’s The Blackberry Bush.
A small book, at only 200 pages, I was initially captivated by the intriguing cover and title. However, I quickly became interested in the storyline, and read the book in one day.
The Blackberry Bush tells the stories of Josh and Kati, born the same moment, half-way around the world from each other. Their lives are not easy, and The Blackberry Bush follows them through their struggles, as they discover both their roots and their wings.
The Blackberry Bush is written in the style of The Book Thief, with the symbolism of To Kill A Mockingbird, yet falls short of its epic potential. The storyline is initially intriguing, but I found that there were aspects of the plot that were either underdeveloped, or completely skipped over, and the ending felt rushed, and a bit scattered.
I also have concerns over some of the theological ideas presented in The Blackberry Bush, such as modern-day prophecy, a strong and continual emphasis on the importance of dreams, also referred to as visions, and a problematic marriage between a Christian and a Muslim.
While The Blackberry Bush reads as a book geared towards a young adult reader, parents should be aware that adultery and illegitimate children play a central role in the story’s plot, and while the behavior is not encouraged, it is not completely dealt with as sinful, but rather viewed as love, with a cursory reference to the fact that God has forgiven.
Overall, I found The Blackberry Bush to live up to the title. Sometimes sweet, but mostly just an unkempt bramble of theological ideologies you have to dig through to find the good. I would give The Blackberry Bush a D.