BOOK REVIEW: THE GATE by DANN A. STOUTEN

The Gate: A Novel

ISBN: 9780800721091
 
About the book . . . 
 
Every life is a story. Schuyler Hunt is about to come face-to-face with the author of his.

When a planned getaway with his wife turns into a shopping trip for the girls, Schuyler Hunt finds himself looking for something else to do. An ad for a vacation cottage catches his eye, and he sets off in search of a much-needed break. When he arrives, he finds something far different from the typical summer home experience. In fact, he may have found a little slice of heaven.

The proprietor-along with a number of unexpected and yet familiar guests-welcomes him with food, rest, and conversation, until what started out as an escape from everyday life turns into something much, much more . . .

Where to Purchase

About the author . . .          


Dann A. Stouten is senior pastor of Community Reformed Church in Zeeland, Michigan, one of the fastest-growing churches on the West Michigan lakeshore. After a highly successful career in the auto industry, Dann returned to school and earned his DMin in narrative preaching. This is his first novel. 
Reader review . . . 
 
When Schuyler Hunt sees a real estate ad for a vacation cottage from his childhood, he heads out to look at it.  He is greeted at the property, known as “Angel’s Gate – the back door to God’s country”,  by Michael DeAngelo of Paradise Realty.  Schuyler is surprised first to learn that he was expected there, and the surprises continue as he is greeted by various inhabitants, some he has never seen, and some who are very familiar.  The weekend turns into a learning experience which changes his perspective on life forever.
 
The Gate is an allegory.  You need to know that from the beginning, otherwise it could take you a bit to catch the rhythm of the book.  It brought to mind a modern take on Pilgrim’s Progress, although Schuyler’s journey isn’t as much a physical one as a spiritual one.  Each evening, people from his past visit him at the cottage and share life lessons.  Some readers may be bothered by the depiction of the Trinity.  I wasn’t, although the Holy Spirit as a female did cause me to stop and think for a moment.
 
This is a novel that many will love and feel that they learned something while reading.  Others may take it too literally and find it offensive in a religious sense.  I enjoyed it, and felt that I gained insight.
 
4 stars
 
  Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Baker/Revell book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”