Joab’s Fire takes place in the pioneer days when people were settling the Canadian Prairies. The author used the Biblical book of Job as a diving board for the outline and theme found in Joab’s Fire. A reader is pulled into a succession of horrible events happening to the Black family.
Now I have to admit, I’m a voracious reader of inspirational romances—books that can be called delightful, heart-warming, and light. Joab’s Fire could not be described with those words, instead it is a powerful, challenging, and hope filled novel that leaves a reader pondering its deep message long after the last page is complete.
The character of Clarence Dixon, the North West Mounted Police officer who investigates the perplexing circumstances surrounding Joab Black and his family, was hands down my favorite. I struggled along with him as he attempted to find meaning for all the terrible things happening to the Black family. I understood as he questioned God’s sovereign plan, and whether God truly is a kind and caring Father. We’ve all been there. Shaking our fist at the Almighty and wanting to know why tragedy is striking us. We’ve all gnashed our teeth in frustration when we cannot come up with a reason for bad things happening to people who live righteous lives.
I also enjoyed Dixon’s storyline for its own sake. Dixon is a man who has pushed aside God because of his past wrong-doings. He cannot imagine himself good enough to please God, then doesn’t know if he wants anything to do with a God who lets horrible things happen to people who love Him. I found Dixon to be a very believable character and cheered for him throughout the entire read.
The subtitle of this book is A Distant Hope. I appreciated that the author didn’t gloss over the bad and tie everything up neat and tidy with a bow in the end. That’s not real life and would have only served to irritate people who are facing tough circumstances. Instead, through the story, the author offers us a distant hope—things may be bad now, but there is hope worth clinging to. We may not know the outcome of our trials, but we have a bigger eternal picture to encourage us.
I also liked reading a novel set in a new location. So much of fiction is set in England, Texas, New England, or the Midwest (at least what I read). It was nice to get a glimpse at what it would have been like to be a pioneer in Canada.
I’d recommend this for anyone who is facing suffering, who wants a reminder on what faith looks like, or who wants to grow through their journey of reading. There are complementary discussion questions for each chapter if a small group or family wanted to read through the book together.
I have a copy of Joab’s Fire to give to a lucky person who comments on this post beforemidnight tonight. This copy was provided to me by the author, Lynn Squire, and I’m excited that someone else will get the chance to read it. Please make sure your comment has to do with the post topic (not just “I want the free book”).
Joab’s Fire released yesterday!