Monday, December 30, 2013

Doubting Stephen (book)

Doubting StephenDoubting Stephen by Anne Borrowdale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book description

What happens if everything you’ve built your life on turns out to be wrong?
Jill Sandley knows what her brother Stephen did to her husband on his stag night 25 years ago. It’s why she made sure Stephen left the country, and never came back. Her daughter Georgia knows the incredible power of crystal healing. It’s why she and her homeopath boyfriend have devoted their lives to alternative therapies. Georgia’s sister Charli knows Jesus loves her. Hasn’t he provided her with the perfect Christian husband? The Sandley family’s confidence in their beliefs seems unshakeable, but then Georgia contacts Stephen, and Stephen has his doubts. 

My review

A thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying read. Covers so many themes: religion (Christianity), alternative medicine (crystal therapy), sex (hetero- and homosexuality), a mysterious death, the way humans construct ideas of truth - and the intersection of all these. The death plays a secondary role to the characters and their relationships to each other (although the plot around the death gets pretty suspenseful near the end!) - and they reflect a little (or a lot) of all of us who have grown up in religious or health fundamentalisms. The writing is excellent and the story is totally engaging as we peer under the surface of faith and family. The ambiguous title is great. Although all the ideas I've listed above may seem heavy the story is actually easy to read but wonderfully provocative. Highly recommend it!

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