The Barnabas Agency
A fictional story about factual lessons, Glaen by Fred R. Lybrand , explains how relationships can be understood through Scripture and observation. When relationally challenged college student Annie Hughes faces the drama of her parents’ divorce, her mysterious professor, Glaen Breuch, helps her discover how healthy relationships function.
The novel is told in first person from Annie’s perspective as she explores the concept of love while attempting to write a book about her findings. Interspersed with small lessons about her observations, each chapter ends with notes that summarize her main ideas. At the end of the novel, she compiles her conclusions to teach others about love, romance, and relating.
Throughout the novel, Annie’s professor, Glaen, is a man of much knowledge and few words. Although he is the answer to her prayers, she initially questions his eccentric character. However, as she attempts to trust his teachings, she learns to appreciate him as a mentor and motivator. Annie’s best friends, Jake and Jennah, also make significant contributions to her discoveries.
At the beginning of the novel, Annie’s ideas about love are pessimistic. As she watches the couples in her life separate, she wonders if any relationships are built to last. However, a series of personal struggles and Glaen’s guidance help her understand that real relationships are possible with the right combination of truth, love, basis, and freedom. Anne’s newfound perception of relating revolves around 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, which says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Although Lybrand’s ideas about relating are insightful, a fictional story seems inadequate to express his ideas. Well-developed philosophies are continually presented by poorly-developed characters. Overall, the dialogue between characters seems stiff and most of the conflicts are explained without attention to detail or depth. I would recommend this book to young women who are looking for relationship advice and don’t mind fiction that is somewhat superficial. – Kara Hackett, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Annie is a college grad-student who is stumped about love. Her mom and dad are in the throes of a divorce, her teenage sister is obsessed with how her boyfriend makes her look, and her closest friend Jennah is on a continual ride of running off every guy she dates.
Friendships, dating, romance, and marriage—it's all confusing to Annie until the day a white-haired stranger appears in her life. Glaen is an unusual professor with an unusual name. Her white-haired unconventional mentor guides Annie on a path of discovery that unlocks the secrets of real relationships in a world gone phony. By abandoning herself to learn, Annie discovers the mystifying affect of how learning to tell the truth changes everything in friendship, family, and love.
The solutions Dr. Lybrand offers in this book will astound and free you to quit doing the very things that take away your ability to find the love and friendship you want. More importantly, you'll discover a fresh path to the possibility of greater connections with those you care most about. You'll want everyone you love to read this book...twice!