B & H Publishing
After he inherits a mansion on the coast of Oregon, Micah Taylor, the main character of James L. Rubartís novel, Rooms, finds himself living in two worlds. During the week he owns an enormously successful software company, dates his beautiful business partner, and takes expensive overseas vacations. On weekends at the mansion, he reads cryptic letters from his deceased uncle, takes walks on the beach, and enjoys life at a slower pace. For reasons Micah canít understand, he finds himself drawn to the mansion at Cannon Beach. He meets new friends: Rick, a kindly auto mechanic who always has a word of wisdom, and Sarah, the beautiful ice cream girl who catches Micahís eye and heart. New rooms keep appearing in the mansion, uncovering memories that he had almost forgotten and causing him to remember a faith in God that he had abandoned long ago. The more time that Micah spends at Cannon Beach, the more his life in Seattle disappears. Soon, it becomes clear that he must choose between the two worlds, and Micah isnít sure who to trust or listen to anymore.
By discussing issues such as spiritual warfare, human nature, and redemption, James Rubart gets into some heavy theological territory, but he explores all of these topics through the story instead of preaching at his readers. While at times the method for the spiritual revelations feels a bit repetitive Ė usually involving a conversation with Rick or a letter from Uncle Archie Ė the use of the mansion as a reflection of Micahís spiritual condition often offers a fresh perspective on old truths. Most of all, the novel vividly illustrates the truth of Mark 8:35-37, where Jesus warned his listeners that they must choose what they devote their lives to. By moving this classic dilemma from the spiritual to the physical, literal world, Rooms shows that making the choice is not as easy or clear as Christians might like.
Besides the portrayal of biblical themes in an unusual way, Rooms has excellent descriptions of its two settings. Both of Micahís worlds feel real, from the details of his interactions with coworkers in the corporate world to the imagery describing the coast of Cannon Beach. Like the settings, exchanges between characters are interesting and purposeful, although it is difficult at times to distinguish between the voices of a few of the characters, especially Micah and his business partner Julie.
The plot, driven largely by the concept of a spiritual house and what effect that could have on one manís life, seems to slow a bit once the novelty of the idea wore off after the first dozen chapters. While interesting because of the spiritual ideas it presented, much of the middle of the book fell into a pattern of a strange happening in Seattle, a conversation with Rick or Sarah, and the discovery of a new room, without much building of intensity. However, when Micah is forced to choose between worlds and risks losing both, the pacing picks up incredibly, sustaining a feeling of drama and anticipation that lasts through the climax and resolution. Ė Amy Green, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend.
When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly discovers, the home isnít just spiritual, itís a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micahís darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.