Reviewed by Deena Peterson
The Reluctant Prophet by Nancy Rue
"These woman Nancy has created reminded me of my favorite series, 'The Yada Yada Prayer Group'... only on a Harley!"
Let's play a game reminiscent of Sesame Street: Nancy Rue, a contemporary novel, and a Harley---which of these things is not like the other? Which of these things does not belong?
You might want to wait before you respond... wait until you've read Nancy's latest novel. You'll be pleasantly surprised just how well all three fit together! I know I was!
Nancy's latest offering is "The Reluctant Prophet", the story of a woman named Allison Chamberlain, new to her faith and eager for more. When her pastor delivers an inspiring message on taking Jesus to the masses, Allison gets a 'nudge' from God... to buy a Harley.
Yup, that's right... a Harley-Davidson... a motorcycle... a hog. I know: she's shocked as well. So's her small group, known affectionately as The Watchdogs. But Allison is determined to follow God and where He leads, so off to the Harley dealership she goes.
Once the Harley is in her semi-proud possession, Allison's waiting for her next 'nudge'. Needless to say, God takes her places she'd never go on her own. But when Allison meets Geneveve, a local prostitute and addict, her mission becomes clear... and controversial.
This is a journey that takes Allison by surprise, and causes her to demonstrate what it truly is to abide in the Vine. Most of us don't enjoy living step by step, whether we're real or fictional, so we're in good company with Allison.
I love flawed characters, and Nancy gives us a boatload of them in this story. Flawed both within and without the church. I had to admit, I saw myself at times... and I didn't always like what I saw.
Nancy has some rather pointed messages to the modern church, and I applaud her for pointing out our weaknesses while not compromising the message of faith and Jesus. Still, they do sting a bit, so prepare yourself to get chastised, church!
I had SO much fun reading this novel! Nancy Rue has a gift for taking unusual and sometimes controversial topics and putting flesh on them through her characters. And she doesn't shy away from stating the truth; stating it in love, but in no uncertain terms.
Watching Allison get familiar and comfortable with her new Harley was hilarious and painful to read... almost felt as if I'd dumped it myself once or twice! And I had a definite urge to reach into the pages and smack the self-righteous stupid out of a few people... but that's probably too much information!
Watching her get familiar and comfortable with her 'flock' had me tearing up to the point of having to put the book down at times... only to pick it up once again because I HAD to know what Desmond would do next! These woman Nancy has created reminded me of my favorite series, 'The Yada Yada Prayer Group'... only on a Harley!
I'm looking forward to seeing where this trilogy of novels ends up taking us. So far, this initial road trip has been an adventure worth taking! So, I'm giving "The Reluctant Prophet" four out of five bookmarks with an orange and black keyring as a charm.
Deena Peterson is the mom of 8, with an active two-year-old grandson! She's also a pastor's wife, worship leader, Bible study leader, and homeschool mom. She stays so busy she meets herself coming and going! Visit her at her blog A Peek At My Bookshelf.