Saturday, June 22, 2013

Book Review: The Prodigal

The ProdigalThe Prodigal by Michael C. Hurley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aidan Sharpe is a very good lawyer and most other lawyers are afraid of having to go against him in court. After a trip to Ocracoke Island, he finds himself needing to take over a case from his friend and colleague, Boyce Stannard. However, things did not go the way he hoped they would and Aiden ended up having his license suspended for a year. A partner in the law firm where he works, Gay, helps him out by making arrangements for Aidan to spend some time on Ocracoke Island with Father Marcus O'Reilly. At least until he can get his license back.

The book is an interesting read. The story begins with a tale of a girl and her sailor lover running away together. They were being pursued and the easiest way for them to get away was to steal a boat. The boat plays a big role. Aidan, as he starts to enjoy his new life in Ocracoke Island, and his friends find an abandoned old boat at sea as they were trying to find Sarah who sailed off without telling anyone.

The very old wooden boat was called the Cygnet and Father Marcus wanted to try and fix it. While they were taking a good look at the boat, Father Marcus found out that the boat has some Arabic script written on it. Translated, it was "Prodigal." The priest had been trying to find any trace of the Cygnet and had not found any records of the boat. But, there were records about the Prodigal.

They learn that there is an old legend about the Prodigal. It was said to be a boat that had a small piece of wood hidden inside somewhere in its body. The wood is a very important relic. It is said to be a small piece of the wood used as a cross upon which the two thieves were crucified on Christ's either side -- one who had repented and asked forgiveness, and another who had not. However, there was no way of knowing which of the thieve's cross the wood was from. The wood is said to have special powers and the Prodigal was said to be a very exceptional boat.

For many centuries, the Catholic Church believed that the way to heaven is through narrow gates -- penitence and faith. However, if the powerful relic inside the boat was from the cross of the thief who did not repent for his sins, that belief will be turned on its head.

Hurley's book is well-written. The narrative is easy to follow and there are elements that will leave the reader hooked. It is a story of faith, friendship, trust, and love -- elements that always work together when a writer is able to tell the story like Hurley did.

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