This week’s YA Highway – Road Trip Wednesday is about The Best Book No One’s Ever Heard Of. I’m a bit late, but after commenting on the site I decided to post this to my blog too.
I could probably recommend plenty, but the one I went with is Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur. I chose this one because I thought it had gone out of print, but I found it’s listed right now on Amazon. It’s also has apparently gone through several covers since I read it on its initial publication. Anyway, it’s not so likely no one’s ever heard of it. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts.
I read Wisdom Hunter more than 15 years ago, but I still remember how much it impacted me. It was recommended to me by a good friend and so I decided to read it sight unseen. I don’t like movie trailers (and other spoilers) so I value the recommendation of someone I trust over product marketers trying to convince me of what I’ll like. I loved it.
This is a story about journey.
It opens with a pregnant young woman, disowned by her father, a conservative, legalistic pastor and a real a$$hole – Jason Faircloth. She tragically dies in childbirth in a traffic jam, but her baby girl survives and is raised the baby’s father (I can’t recall if the two were married), who subsequently takes the baby and moves away. Jason is completely unaware this has happened.
The main character is the pastor, Jason, this story is his journey of faith, forgiveness (and self-forgiveness) and redemption as he spends the next 18 years searching for his lost granddaughter. The journey takes him all over the world and he is truly a different person by the end.
The book is rather heavy-handed at times and there are definitely parts I would rewrite if it were my book (e.g. the father, not Jason, is a bit of a caricature), but it’s an honest, powerful look at the some of the hidden costs of Christian legalism and frankly any stubbornly held “ideals” people may hold which separate them from one another.
I don’t consider myself to be conservative by any stretch, but 15+ years ago when I first read it came at a time just when I needed to hear it. Come to think of it, maybe it’s time I consider reading again.