A few years ago I joined a book club. We have one rule, we only read fiction. These days, most of my reading is non-fiction, but I really enjoy a little “getaway” in a great story. Since all of us in the group are Catholic and seem to enjoy the same type of books, we have selected several “Catholic Fiction” reads in the past. Last summer we especially enjoyed two books by Ignatius Press – Do No Harm by by Fiorella de Maria (read a review by fellow blogger and book clubber Sarah Reinhard here) and The Spear by Louis de Wohl (read a chapter here on the Ignatius Press website). This summer, we started with The Rising by Bob Ovies and what a thriller it is!
C. J. Walker seems like a normal 9 year old boy. He attends the local Catholic school, attends church with his mother and likes to kick the soccer ball around. However, after attending a wake with his mother, he discovers he has a gift; the ability to heal the sick and raise the dead. As his power is discovered and made public, his mother Lynn tries everything to protect her son from those who want to exploit this gift, including that of her ex-husband, Joe. C. J. quickly becomes a target for those who are desperately seeking healing, the Government and even members of the Church. Befriended by their pastor, C. J. and his family search for meaning in the gift and how it should (or should not) be used.
In the family’s quest to protect C. J. and allow him to live a “normal” life, a great race ensues and redemption is found in the most unlikely person. Ovies does an amazing job of presenting a variety of moral dilemmas for the reader to sort through with multiple characters. From the scientific community looking to breed a “superhuman”, the government looking for a superpower and the Church looking for the largest evangelization movement since Jesus, it gives the reader food for thought. As with the other Ignatius Press novels I’ve read, The Rising is well written and a page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed it and devoured it in less than 24 hours!
As an added bonus, Ignatius Press also offers study questions if you are part of a book club (check them out here) or just want to ponder the material a little more deeply.