They Shall See God – by Athol Dickson (2002)

They Shall See God

 

One little girl was a Jew, the other little girl a Christian. They played together, laughed together, and considered themselves to be sisters. Then came the day they were witnesses to a terrible crime. Their friendship was never quite the same.

The book began with Kate and Ruth as adults, one having gone into the ministry and the other raising a family and running an antique shop. Each of them thought the other walked away from the friendship, so when they met again, they both had chips on their shoulders. But they put aside their differences because of a common fear: the man they testified against in court as children had been released from prison.

The story did seem a bit disjointed at first as it jumped around between about half a dozen characters. But as it progressed, the pieces began to fit together. The book is about getting along with people of different religious beliefs, working to put a friendship back together, and finding out the truth about a crime, no matter how much time has gone by.

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The Cure – by Athol Dickson (2007)

The Cure

“The Cure” is a novel of a man whose life has been devastated by alcohol. Riley Keep has lost everything – his job, his family, his faith. Life has been reduced to sleeping at homeless shelters and getting drunk with his buddy Brice. Rumors of an instant cure for alcohol reach Riley, and he drags Brice with him to the town that supposedly has the cure.

The story does a powerful job of letting you see the world through the eyes of someone living in a drunken haze. At times Riley truly doesn’t care about anything, and at other times he tries everything he can to correct his wrongs. It’s a picture of every one of us, trying to fix our wrongs alone and often making our situation even worse. The ending of the story will likely shock and surprise you. Be sure to read the afterword by the author, and you will understand why he chose to conclude the story in such a way.
Excerpt from chapter 4:

“He watched the sun rise, and for some reason he got mad. Not because of Brice, exactly. It was more that he hadn’t had a drink in maybe two whole days. A deadly serious situation. And there was God, pulling the sun out of his pocket like it was nothing. It made him mad to think how simple it would be for God to give him what he wanted, and how little he wanted compared to most people. The lobstermen, for example, who were constantly buying new pickup trucks and houses and clothing for their wives and children, and steaks and television sets and bowling balls and popcorn at the movies. And him, what did he ask? Nothing but a drink. It made him mad to think how stingy God could be, until he realized he had not asked for what he needed. Riley Keep had lost most memories, but he was pretty sure he had never asked the Lord for alcohol.”