I'm a Christian who doesn't read much Christian lit. It is usually trite, overwrought, predictable, and preachy. This is none of those. It discusses God and miracles without any of the need to smack you over the head. The characters were real, intricate, and well written. The author knew these people. They had their own views and perceptions. They were written with insight and subtlety. I cared for all of them, even the secondary characters. Too much of modern fiction is story driven so that the people that populate them are ever changing to fit the plot. This was character driven. The story went where the characters did. Don't get me wrong, it's not slow or a character study, it is full of happenings, all of which made sense because the characters made sense. I enjoyed the three different responses to healing miracles. I liked that two were slight variations with the third as a total contrast. I liked the exploration of faith. I liked the exploration of the purpose of miracles. Is it the physical healing that is important? Or the faith of the healer and the healed? Perhaps it is the bestowing of gifts by a benevolent God, a kind of reward? All thought provoking questions.
Then I got to the last chapter. Suddenly, the characters weren't remaining faithful to who they were. They suddenly and without much explanation and no hints, were totally different people. They didn't grow and change with or in response to events. They just did a 180 and went the other way. And I felt like I'd been punched. I had been really interested to see how these three people would effect each other. I wanted to explore what happens when three differing beliefs come into contact. It would have been interesting to see how the lives of the three could be healed by each other. Not in a flash by the laying on of hands, but as a response to extraordinary situations. But it needed to grow organically. Instead we are given the briefest of glimpses at their now mingled lives all tied up in a nice bow. It didn't make sense and it was very disappointing. If I had not read that last chapter, this would be a five star review, even though I wouldn't have a resolution (which might have been interesting). I understand why the author felt he needed a resolution, but it's as if he got lost. He just didn't know what kind of resolution, so he gave us a campfire song. Even with waiting a couple weeks after finishing the book to review, I still find myself disappointed. I can't say I don't recommend this book, it has a lot going for it, but I just wish it didn't have that last chapter. I hope the author someday revises this so that the characters stay true to who they are, but until then 3 stars is the most I can do.