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Book Reviews – January/February 2013

Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father At 14,000 Feet

By Nathan Foster
Afterword by Richard J. Foster
InterVarsity Press, 2010, 185 pp., $16

Have you wondered what is would be like to live in a family where your father or mother is world famous? Sometimes it may not be a positive experience . . . until years later. Richard J. Foster’s son, Nathan, explains how at times he felt iso­ lated and alone, while his father focused on ongoing commitments of his personal ministry, speaking engagements, and writing of popular Christian books.

I read this book be­ cause I wanted to learn more about the life of one of my favorite authors, Richard Foster. I learned the price for fame can cause an out-of-balance fam­ily life.

Nathan had feelings of anger because of his father had “holier work” to do. By age thirteen, Nathan was filled with rage. Nathan remembers, as a child, the few times he accompanied his father when he lectured to crowds. Nathan experienced excitement when his father would mention his name or tell a story about him.

Many years passed until Nathan attempted to build a bridge to con­nect a relationship with his father. Nathan invited his father to climb Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado. As they climbed the peaks in the months to come, Nathan and his father became very close and looked forward to each moment they spent together.

The power of God’s presence was with them during each hike, as weather conditions almost took their lives during their final climb. God worked in the life of Nathan, I believe, through the presence of his father, whereby Nathan gave up his addictions and attempted once again to continue college. Nathan graduated from college, then graduate school, to become a licensed clinical social worker and certified substance abuse counselor. He became founder and director of Door of Hope Counseling. He is currently an assistant professor of social work at Spring Arbor University, in Spring Arbor, Michigan.

This is also a book for parents with troubled teens and for teens who don’t understand their parent(s).

As for me, this is the perfect book for a reader who has followed a great Quaker writer. I look forward to both Richard’s and Nathan’s next inspiring books.

Jim Wortham
Madison, Indiana

Mary’s Story

By Barbara Swant and Ruth Anderson
Quill House Publishers, 2011, 322 pp., $15.95

Mary’s Story is a beautifully written account of Mary’s perspective of the life and death of her son, Jesus. At times, books written from this type of perspective have come under criticism. Readers must remember this is a fictional story, yet it manages to launch the reader into imagining themselves seeing Jesus from the eyes of his mother. This perspective, led me to more deeply consider what was going on around Jesus, and what the emotional state of others was during this time.

The book is written in the format of having a brief section written in the present tense, and then two chapters of Mary’s flashbacks. Depending on the reader’s prefer­ ence, this can be positive break to re-frame the story, or it can lead to choppiness of the book’s flow.

This is a story of love, sacrifice, and grief. Friends who are mothers, who have lost some one, or who wish to contemplate a new perspective on the life of Jesus would find this to be an intriguing read.

Liz Wine
Wichita, KS