February 21, 2017, book review, Urban Christian Fiction,
Written by: Kimberla Lawson Roby
Published by: Grand Central Publishing Hatchette Book Group
Source: Library loan
There was a man who had two sons…
The Reverend Curtis Black hasn’t spoken to his son, Matthew, in over a year-not since Matthew dropped out of Harvard to marry his girlfriend, Racquel, and be a full time father to their infant son. Curtis knows that it was he and his wife, Charlotte, who drove Matthew away, but he prays one day his son will forgive them and come home.
Matthew, however, can’t seem to forget the pain his parents caused him and Racquel. Still, he wonders if maybe they’d been right, as fatherhood is not what he expected, and Racquel’s behavior has become increasingly erratic. Matthew genuinely wants to be a good husband, though, and swears he’ll never repeat his parents’ mistakes. But when an old friend expresses her desire for Matthew, the temptation may be too great to resist…
Then, there’s Dillon Whitfield-Curtis’s long-lost-son-who has settled in as a member of the Black family. Yet the transition has been anything but easy. Charlotte, convinced he’s only after Curtis’s money, wishes he would move back to where he came from. Dillon, however, has no intention of going anywhere. After a lifetime in the shadows, he’s determined to take his rightful place as Curtis’s first-born son and heir, and he’ll do whatever it takes to win his father’s affection-even if it means playing dirty…
As jealousy builds up and secrets pile up, both of Curtis’s sons will be pushed over the edge and forced to take drastic action. Can these two troubled young men find their way back into the Black family fold, or will the family ties be undone once and for all?
I have just started reading The Reverend Curtis Black series recently, and only then did I realize that it was a series not standalone novels. These books are very hard to put down. Urban Christian fiction is a very new genre for me. Unlike traditional Christian fiction, Urban Christian fiction reflects on the grittier aspects of life. Moreover, we get a different perspective of how other Christians live their lives. Some live in the flesh while others dwell in the Spirit. Either way, every Christian faces a battle against sin rather than flesh and blood. That is a very common theme in Roby’s novels. Sin confronts each and every one of her characters at every moment of every scene. Their temptation is very strong, and oftentimes they succumb to their weaknesses. A very valuable question I have to ask is; are Roby’s characters self proclaimed Christians or do they live in the flesh? Although no Christian has perfect reverence to Jesus, these characters don’t seem particulary close to God. Troubles come abound and struggles arise, but nobody ever casts them away to the Lord. Life is quite a cahllenge to navigate, and it is very hard to be a Christian in this world. However, I find that her charcacters do try to give themselves up to the Lord.