NOTE: This is not a book that is pushing a particular world view or theology. Actually, the author himself, does not subscribe to the doctrines that are presented in this story, EXCEPT for where presentation of the Gospel is mentioned. The miraculous gifts of the Spirit are a part of his fiction so whether you subscribe to that theology or not, he’s just telling a story. I say that because I know that some people have a hard time separating what they believe from their ability to enjoy a good book that doesn’t coincide with their beliefs. Christians and non-Christians alike do this.
On we go:
Daniel was the only child of Jamal and Sarah Call. Jamal was a physics professor at Berkeley in 1970-something and Sarah, well, “She had been a radical leftist, anti-everything. Involved with all groups that wanted to throw out all things conventional, her studies were wrapped around her politics, majoring in social justice sciences. Her motto about America: if it wasn’t broke, break it.” (pg. 15) Total opposites, they met on the campus of Berkeley, fell in love and married. And then they shocked everyone when they went to a Jesus Freaks rally off campus to heckle and they returned home, born-again.
Stuff of Earth, Things of Heaven is Daniel’s story. At 18 years old he inherits close to two billion dollars from his wildly successful father and he stuns the world when he gives the majority of it away. Daniel chooses to live a life of chastity and spends much of his time studying and praying. He follows instructions from God and he facilitates a number of miraculous and earth-altering events.
Things get exciting and move along at a pretty fast pace. There is an element of mystery and intrigue, there is romance, there is good and there is evil. All in all this is an exciting story about a young man who is devoted, whole-heartedly, to the call placed on his life.
I wouldn’t be totally honest if I didn’t mention a few things I didn’t love.
1. You can roll your eyes here if you like but I’m sorry, I don’t enjoy being inside the mind of a man, if you know what I mean. It really only occurs a few times, and I understand this is reality and normal and whatnot, but still, I don’t like it.
2. The editing in this book is pretty bleak. I hate that for the author because a good story is told here, but the typos and errors in grammar are present throughout. HOWEVER. I understand that with his next novel, he has procured a Grammar Nazi for an editor, so that problem should be nonexistent from here on out. I only mention this issue to give a heads up to someone interested in reading Stuff of Earth. It doesn’t take away from the story at all but it is something you can expect.
Recommendation: Those who struggle with addiction, or those who love someone that struggles with addiction would be particularly interested in this story, as the author himself is a recovering addict and he tackles this issue with compassion and wisdom.
It’s an enjoyable read and I look forward to his next book!
Yes, as an aspiring novelist myself, I’m learning that editing is so important. And it’s not just the obvious grammar stuff, but word choice, lack of details, too many details, redundancy, vague language, cliches, etc. Many edits are required, not just one.