Monday, September 16, 2013

A History of Stone and Steel by Christopher Fisher

Release Date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Resurgent Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Paul Keppel's life had been sailing down a comfortable path until a perfect storm of mid-life crisis, powerful migraines and a recurring nightmare drives him to the edge of sanity. His marriage is tested as secrets from his past come bubbling to the surface, forcing Paul to face the truth of the past or risk losing everything. The pain, anxiety and uncertainty ripple through every aspect of his life from his marriage to the workplace to church.

When he receives word that his grandfather, Reverend Todd, has a health crisis, Paul's life deteriorates rapidly. He soon finds himself reliving the decisions of his past that set him down the path he's been walking. Throwing caution to the wind, he does whatever he feels he needs to without restraint. Can his marriage and family survive the secrets he's been carrying? Will Paul be able to come to terms with his grandfather and the ghosts haunting him before he loses everything?  

Having won this book from a giveaway, I was intrigued by the blurb used in the description of the giveaway. It mentioned the bare essentials of the plot such as a man dealing with his own set of problems finding out his grandfather was dying and coming to term with secrets long buried. When I actually opened the book, I was instantly hooked on the road Paul, the main character, was taking. There was no alternative but to hang on until the end.

A History of Stone and Steel is the debut novel for Christopher Fisher, but it certainly does not read like one. The path that the story takes winds its way through Paul's adolescence and adulthood with little effort, bringing the reader along as a witness to the unraveling that is taking place in Paul's life. With each revelation and decision, the reader is given a front row seat to the madness that takes over as he begins to lose control, driving his loved ones to the edge of desertion.

The theme of what it means to truly be a Christian also presents itself throughout the story. For some of the characters, it is the driving force behind each and every one of their decisions. Others are reluctant to acknowledge the depth in which they do believe, whether out of fear or they simply cannot bring themselves to believe completely. The author lays out thoughts, theories and feelings along the way that allow the reader to decide for him/herself what the meaning behind the events could be.

Overall, I liked how frank the book was when it came to Paul's indecision. He was as messed up as anyone on this planet could be and yet he still had a sense of right and wrong at his very core. In a way, I was both rooting for and against the character, something not usually done in my case. It's a thought-provoking, profanity-laced, theology-questioning book that kept me turning page after page to find out what happened next. I would definitely recommend this book.

A History of Stone and Steel by Christopher Fisher can be purchased in either Kindle or paperback form. It can be purchased from by clicking the link below.
A History of Stone and Steel by Christopher Fisher

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