Da[w]bar House Press
Second Story, a novel by Anna Rapa, invites Christians to take a closer look at the way we go about fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Alex and Annie are a dating couple who realize they are on opposite sides of the evangelism spectrum. As they struggle to find a healthy balance, their relationship gets caught in the crossfire.
Second Story is a novel that does not read like a novel. It reads more like an instructional book. It uses an interesting story to teach Christians the best ways (and the worst ways) to lead people to Christ. A scene that struck me was when Alex realized he did not truly care for his coworker, Drew. All he cared about was “saving his immortal soul.” I am not afraid to admit it, this scene made me squirm. This book’s message is one that many Christians do not want to hear.
Alex and Annie have always considered themselves Christians. However, after suffering a near-fatal accident, Alex has a spiritual epiphany. He begins proclaiming his faith blatantly wherever he goes, usually with disastrous results. Annie, on the other hand, is so afraid of offending someone that she never talks about her faith at all. In search of answers, the couple begins to meet with Sara, one of Alex’s former youth pastors. These meetings bring about an outcome neither of them is expecting.
The characters of Second Story slide into predictable stereotypes. Alex is the fire-and-brimstone Christian. Annie is the timid, lukewarm Christian. Sara is the wise and mature Christian. The supporting characters also fall into standard roles. Drew is the militant homosexual. Jo is the rebellious teenager. Omar is the token Muslim. None of them are particularly deep or complex.
This book tries to teach a very important lesson: evangelism is about forming meaningful relationships, not hitting people over the head with a Bible. Anna Rapa chose to put this lesson into novel form. However, the moral of this story ends up overpowering its characters and its plot. I would recommend this book to a Bible study or church group studying evangelism. Second Story is better used as an object lesson than read as a novel. – Becky Farb, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Alex Cunningham's recent motorcycle accident changed his life - now he sees every day as a mission to share the good news of the gospel. But his long-time girlfriend, Annie Russo, just doesn't understand. And if that isn't enough, every time Alex opens his mouth to say something about God at work, everything backfires: his co-manager Drew rarely even looks at him now.But help comes in the form of Sara Locke, an ex-missionary widow with wisdom to spare. Together, Alex, Annie, and Sara discover how to see people's unspoken emotional barriers to faith in God. Along the way, Alex and Annie explore how to engage those barriers in natural and nonjudgmental ways as they begin to talk about their Christian faith with their friends. But one of them has more success than the other, and the stress on their relationship might just be too much.A new blend of fiction and evangelism training, author Anna Rapa uses narrative storytelling to communicate key truths about evangelism in today's postmodernworld. Dive in to the story of Alex and Annie, and let this story show you how to reach people in today's culture with God's transforming story of rescue.