Book Review: The Gate (Dann Stouten, 2013)

A unique book that will help you put your present in its proper context with your past and your future. I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. This book will give you hope and help you to pinpoint purpose in your circumstances and direction in your daily choices.

I saw little pieces of some of my favorite other books in this one. It was very much like Andy Andrews’ “The Traveler’s Gift,” because each of the characters in the story, one at a time, had a life lesson to impart to the protagonist, Sky. However, instead of using historical figures to teach the lessons, the stars of this story were much closer and precious to Sky, and because of those personal connections, the lessons were more meaningful, impactful, and emotional.

This book also incorporates a bit of mysteriousness through the characters of Ahbee, Josh, and Rae, who are very similar in nature to the character of Jones in Andy Andrews’ “The Noticer.” Those three direct the action and guide Sky to wisdom and understanding.

The recollections that Sky has as he encounters each character from his past are reminiscent of the narrative and setting in John Grisham’s “The Painted House,” as Sky begins to appreciate, only in retrospect, how simple and special his life has been with his family.

Finally, the imagery in this book seems to have shades of Randy Alcorn’s must-read book, “Heaven,” as Sky gets a preview of things to come in his life as he prepares for the future ahead of him.

I loved this book, and it’s hard to believe that this was a first novel for author Dann Stouten. It is well-written and will keep your interest throughout. Stouten makes it easy for the reader to see himself/herself as Sky, and the message is clear: success in this life is not about accolades or the accumulation of material wealth. It’s about people. It’s about our relationships. It’s about forgiveness and reconciliation and hope and encouragement. It’s about not giving up and not leaving anyone behind.

Buy this book, read it, and give it to someone else to enjoy today. This one will plant seeds.

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