Skip to main content

The Point

the-point-bookcover





The Point: The Redemption of Oban Ironbout by Wiliam E. Jefferson

This new book by William E. Jefferson entitled The Redemption is a novel about redemption and letting go of the past as well.  The story centers around two main character, Hollie and Goodwin who set out on a journey to the Isle of Estillyen, an island that is said to inhabit people who have an uncanny habit of speaking wise words.  Goodwin pushes the to go The Point, a house with an old recluse named Oban Ironbout, who has been through the death of his twins and has not been the same since.  After the initial pummeling of words and shells on Goodwin, Goodwin is convinced that the sketch he drew from a painting of his family is a key to unlocking the story of Oban. 

While I really enjoyed discovering more and more about the life of Oban and the history that unfolds in the story, the readings on the island were a bit forced.  I do agree that the twisted words can wreak havoc upon relationships, but biblically speaking its not only the words that matter but a defamation of character that is related to the words.  In one section we see Lucifer trying to turn the name of God upside down so that the humans will be deceived.  Jefferson writes, “Now take the name I AM.  Instead of fleshies saying, ‘I AM,’ teach’em to mutter ‘ain’t I.’  Instead of saying ‘king,’ tell ‘em to mutter ‘sling.’  We can do it!  We can do it!  Oh, I know we can do it” (68)!  I see the display of repeating the style and constancy of the biblical record, but I think the phrases that come out of Lucifer’s mouth are hard to fathom as reasonable for someone to hold onto.  The connection between the Screwtape Letters is inevitable here but I think Jefferson focuses at times too much on the right rendering of specific words rather than how they could be displayed in the story. 

Overall, I found the book to be a weaving of different storylines along some retellings of Scripture that were very interesting.  I was a bit confused about the point of having so many different intersecting plotlines and having to work to see their connections.  The real takeaway from the story was walking through the life of Oban Ironbout and seeing Hollie and Goodwin draw out his story.  This idea of a man hardened by the crushing blows of death and pain is a real example in our own world.  Yet, remembering the past for what joy it brought helped bring Oban back to a sense of reality instead of escaping into a reclusive monastery.  This part of the book was a good look into the redemptive work of God in using means, his people to bring about a message of healing. 

I think there are some very good parts in this book coupled with a confusing plot.  I hope others will be encouraged by the story of Oban and the way both Hollie and Goodwin deal him.


Thanks to Handlebar Publishing for the review copy of this book in exchange for review. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…