Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Book of Strange New Things

Michael Faber

A monumental, genre-defying novel over ten years in the making, from the internationally bestselling author of The Crimson Petal and the White. The Book of Strange New Things tells the story of Peter Leigh, a devoted man of faith called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him literally light years away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment and the ego-gratifying work of ministering to a native population hungry for the Bible--this "book of strange new things." But he soon begins to receive increasingly desperate letters from home. North Korea is devastated by a typhoon; the Maldives are wiped out by a tsunami; England endures an earthquake, and Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.
A separation measured in galaxies, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. Peter's and Bea's trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and the responsibility we have to others.(from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Peter is selected to minister to the natives, called Oasans, at an outpost light years away from earth. His wife Bea is not chosen and must stay behind. As Peter becomes increasingly enamored with his missionary work, Bea’s life is falling apart as living on earth becomes more and more difficult.

This book surprised me in many ways. It’s labeled as science fiction, but other than the location and the native aliens, it didn’t really seem like science fiction. I thought it was a smart spin on a missionary tale. I liked how the Jesus Lovers (so called by Peter because he cannot speak their language) saw the Bible as the book of strange new things.

This is the first book I’ve read by Michael Faber. I must say, I liked his creativity and I am genuinely curious to read more by this author.

My thanks to Crown Publishing, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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