Author Keri Aeschlimann graciously sent me a copy of her book, In Paths of Righteousness. But better than that, she also offered to have me host a giveaway of her book! How exciting is that? I enjoyed reading In Paths of Righteousness and think it'd be a great book to add to your shelf. As for details...
ABOUT THE BOOK
David Riley is a typical, hard-working farm boy of the late 1800s, growing up in a Midwest community where religion was a tradition that none dared to challenge. He and his friend Jill set out to explore the “Old Man’s Path,” to uncover the mystery of an old wives’ tale, and it turns into more of an adventure than they bargained for. When they discover long-held secrets in the town of Detweiler, David is determined to find the truth—regardless of the cost. As he faces opposition in his search for the truth, David also finds a battle waging within. He and his friends struggle to be kind to Henry, a cruel bully, and his mother, a widow bitter toward God. But as his hatred for Henry grows, so does the darkness in his own heart.
With an emptiness that threatens to consume him, David despairs of ever pleasing God. When all prospects of finding peace appear lost, he meets a strange old recluse, thought to be long dead, who offers him both friendship and hope. David discovers something in common with the mysterious stranger—but what binds them together threatens to tear his family and community apart. Will he have the courage and determination to stand for what is right? Facing rejection in the greatest decision of his life, David must choose which path to follow: a religious tradition to live by or a faith to die for. 288 pages. Soft cover.
When I read David's proud exclamation, "Real men are Christians and Christians don't fight. And I'm a Christian!" I knew there was something coming for him. In Paths of Righteousness follows David's life as a sixteen-year-old, searching for truth--questioning as to whether or not he is indeed a Christian--whether or not he could be righteous enough on his own. One quote sums up his struggle: "He was trying harder than ever to please God, but the more he did and the harder he tried, the greater the emptiness inside him became."
David's search for spiritual truth paralleled with his search for the truth about a mysterious man and tales that had been spread about him. I wish that the tales of the mysterious man were sooner introduced and more deeply developed before David stumbled into solving this mystery, but it did hold my interest as written.
There was definitely tension as David questioned the teachings of his church (which were based in man's ability to keep the law rather than trust in Jesus for salvation) and, in turn, had confrontations with his parents.
While written in a style that seems geared towards younger teens, I personally recommend this book to those sixteen and above because of the many discussions (which could pose confusion to younger believers) as well as a scene in which one character, in delirium, "saw" hell and its terrors then heaven and its beauty.
I found the spiritual plot of this book very strong and interesting (chapter seventeen was probably my favorite!). Keri summed up well the terror and confusion of a young man who strove with learning truth and pushed forward his journey to answers well. Though the writing style was somewhat amateur, I really enjoyed the book and am looking forward to a possible sequel!
*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
Keri lives in the Midwest with her family. "In Paths of Righteousness" is her first novel--she is currently working on its sequel. Find her on Goodreads, FaceBook, and her Blog.