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The Emmaus Readers

Parachute Press, 2009
RRP $34.95

Reviewed by Julie Price, a member of The Gap Uniting Church who values discussion and sharing of spiritual journeys with others.

HERE I am reviewing the reviewers of 12 novels.

Twelve people who belong to a book club write a review each of 12 books of contemporary fiction.

All books reviewed deal with an aspect of life.

They all follow growth through the challenge of life.

All are different genres.

The books are grouped into four sections.

The groupings are around the four parts of the first verse of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

The three books in within each section are loosely related to the title or line of the hymn.

Each one being set out the same way with a synopsis; notes on the author and a detailed reflection of 11 pages or more on the plot the readers response to the characters.

March, Intuition and Fieldwork all tackle a moral dilemma when differing ideologies come together.

They are about struggles in life when things don’t necessarily work out.

The discussion question at the end of each chapter/book seem to be only relevant when you’ve read the book.

I found it difficult to stay with the questions having only read the reviewers review and summary, rather than the actual novel.

There is a sense that the books may be spoiled by reading so much detailed reflection by the book club members.

However, there would be abouttwo or three books that I would now be tempted to buy and read fully from the 12 books reviewed.

The discussion questions, if worked through with a book club, could help members to consider their personal response to pain and suffering and how we hear God through the eyes of our own spiritual journey, even though the literature itself is not explicitly religious.