I really liked your book. From the very start the characters were intriguing. I was immediately drawn to them and the way you used little vignettes to tell their story (leaving us hanging at the end of each one) was a great way to maintain the tension. I felt that the characters were very honest (which may not be appreciated by some) and their struggles were very real. The struggle between the various characters (who, I assume, represented various approaches to “religion” or God) was also interesting…especially between Pastor Jack and his daughter…who was constantly trying to walk away from his influence…but couldn’t. As I mentioned before, I got a little bogged down when it got to the rapture part…but it also raised the question about how we make judgments about people very differently from how God may see them. (Haven’t worked that one out yet, though. I plan to re-read the book. First time through was just to get a general impression). I found hope in the kid who tried so hard to do the right thing…and then struggled with why he wasn’t included in the rapture…that he died at peace, knowing God was taking him. That was a subtle…but very nice touch.
When I mentioned that it was like a Stephen King book…I didn’t necessarily mean in its darkness. I meant in the way he always ends his books in an open-ended way. The crisis has been resolved…but there’s always a seed remaining that will very likely sprout again. He leaves you always looking over your shoulder for a couple of days after you’ve finished reading his books. The battle between good and evil continues…which makes your “abrupt” ending perfect. As much as we would like everything to be tied up in a neat, clean, “happily ever after” ending, the reality is that life goes on…the struggle continues…and we humans, in general, really don’t seem to change all that much….although some do. Yet, no matter how we, as humans, perceive God, God will always be there in God’s graciousness and love.