Riven
by Jerry B. Jenkins

First let me tell you I read this book in September; I have been thinking about this review ever since. It is just that type of book, and truthfully I believe only Jerry B. Jenkins could have written the story.

It is the story of two men, one a much abused and maltreated pastor who remains faithful to his calling despite the mistreatment at the hands of his various congregations until he receives the position of Chaplain at the unnamed state's maximum security prison. The other is a young man who misguidedly does whatever he thinks he has to do to take care of himself and his younger brother, which ultimately results in his receiving the death penalty and residing in the same maximum security prison where the pastor is now the chaplain.

The story winds through the various difficulties both men have faced through their lives, and the pastor ultimately leads the young man to Christ through his diligence to his calling. There is an interesting twist at the end which I will not spoil for you.

The problem, at least for me, and I truly enjoyed this book, is that you can see the events coming two chapters in advance and yet the story remains enjoyable even though you know what is going to occur before it occurs. Which is why I believe only a skilled author like Jerry B. Jenkins could have written the novel and made it as good a reading experience as it is. I highly recommend this book if you want an interesting story which is very uplifting and filled with the theme of God's grace to an undeserving people.

Jerry B. Jenkins, former editor of Moody Magazine, vice president for publishing, and now chairman of the board of trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, is the author of more than 180 books, including the 63,000,000-selling Left Behind series. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Bethel College (Indiana), Trinity International University (Illinois), Colorado Christian University, Huntington University (Indiana), and Tennessee Temple University.

James Shelton
Reviewed by James Shelton