I knew my friend Garvin Dykes had been working on a book, and was excited to see him mention that it was available for the Kindle. I purchased it that day and started reading it on my iPhone.
I don’t read much fiction, so I surprised even myself as to how fascinated I was with the story of Sunday’s Child. It only took me 2 days to consume the book.
The story involves a college student in the south who meets a girl during his first few days at school. She is from the Middle East and is Muslim. The boy is a Christian, but tries to be a friend to the girl and help her feel comfortable in her new surroundings. The book is set in the early 80s and goes through the early 90s. The plot involves their growing relationship through the time when radical Islamic terrorists begin to attack the United States.
Besides being from two very different cultures geographically, they are also religiously very different. They seek to work through their differences.
As I read the first few pages I thought the book was going to spend more time on separating Christianity from Patriotism. While I love my country, I often feel that American Christians think their Christianity and love of country go hand in hand. When someone culturally worships the Lord in a different manner, they fall back on thinking that it is because the person is not a mature Christian. However, the book did not deal with that aspect of Christianity.
What I did learn from the book is a perspective of all the stories I heard in the news through my teenage years. All the conflict with Iran, Iraq, PLO and the fight for the land that Israel occupies makes more sense to me after reading this book. My school principal would share the news with us about what was going on over there, but it seemed so far away from me at the time. Of course we are still involved in the same conflicts today in that region as we were back in the 80s. Through this book I now understand where it started and how it developed.
I am not sure if the Kindle version is different from the printed version, but I did find several inconsistencies in the storyline. Apparently the author and editor made some last minute changes to the military rank of the hero in the story. He is a Lieutenant, then Capitan (then Lieutenant again) and twice he was called Major even though he only advanced to Capitan in the story. The printed version may have those inconsistencies cleared up.
The author told me these are “developing characters.” I take that to mean he has another book planned to follow this one. He mentions in the introduction that the story started forming with him as he was stuck in Africa during the September 11, 2001 attack on the US. Since this story ended in the early 90s, then there must be more to take us up to at least to 2001. I look forward to it.
It was refreshing to read a book that had no cursing. Since the author is a long time conservative preacher I expected nothing less. However, I did not even really notice that it was missing until I sat down to write this. More proof that a good story–even involving the military–can be told without stooping to filthy language.
Sunday’s Child. Garvin Dykes. Tate Publishing. 2010. 296 pages.