Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blizzard in Brooklyn--Bell's book Saves the Day!

What do you do when visiting your daughter in Brooklyn, New York while she's at work and your husband is sick and New York is getting the biggest snow storm in five years? I'll tell you. You are glad that your threw in a copy of Braden Bell's "The Road Show."  http://www.bradenbell.com/. The book is slim and has an intriguing cover. I admit I was skeptical though. I knew the book had a message--a religious moral. As an author I think these types of books are difficult to manage. It's too easy to cross the line into the sentimental, too sticky sweet. But Bell's book doesn't cross that line. What he has done is create a tale a little similar to "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." In The Road Show we are drawn into the story by a cast of believable characters, all beset with different problems ranging from addiction, loneliness, pride, selfishness, depression,and greed. Throw the group together with the assignment of doing a road show that will win first place.


Our main character is Scott. He's working toward a masters in theater, but his addiction to pornography has derailed his progress and he's about to be thrown out of the program. The bishop of his ward doesn't know this, but knows he's a talented young man and asks him to write and direct a road show (short play) with only weeks before the production. He accepts this and meets the rest of the characters in the story with their own problems.  We are caught up in their own mini-stories within the larger story. I especially related to Ed. Ed is a little more liberal. He wears his hair long and spouts off in church with off-the-wall questions and statements. He's lonely because everyone thinks he's out there. But he's a talented song-writer and musician. Stephanie suffers from postpartum depression. Her husband is a gem, but is getting weary of carrying the full-load. He encourages her to try-out for the production. She has a gorgeous voice and with Ed's talent, we know she find a channel to use her talent and work towards healing. The story unfolds as an analogy and teaches about the Atonement. It's well worth the read. It's a light book that won't bog down with too much scriptural definitions. It's inspirational and fun at the same time. I look forward to more from Braden Bell.