Room of Marvels
James Bryan Smith
Following in the tradition of Pilgrim’s Progress, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, and The Shack, Room of Marvels fit in nicely.
I would recommend that every reader keep a box of tissues nearby as they follow Tim on his trip through heaven. The book is a work of fiction but it finds its roots in a series of daydreams the author originally had some 20+ years ago. Within a short period of time, the author had lost a close friend, his mother, and his disabled daughter through death - a series of devastating losses. The daydreams helped him process his grief; he made notes of the dreams and eventually published his story in September 2007. Now, 13 years later, it is being re-released by a new publisher, Intervarsity Press.
In the book, Tim meets the three people who died and others - and begins to understand what God was trying to accomplish through those tough times of his life. He begins to process his grief. One of the gifts that the book offers is a detailed explanation of how the people Tim meets in his journey to heaven are closely connected to the people in the author's real life. He then reflects on the growth he has experienced since writing the original book 13 years ago. The book concludes with a series of study questions for individual or group use. It is a spiritual journey of his walk through grief both as the events transpired and as he has continued to grow. In the end, it offers the reader HOPE in multiple ways.
For those experiencing grief, for those who work with those experiencing grief, the book will find a home. It belongs in the church library. And, again, keep tissues nearby.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.