Micah Taylor owns RimSoft, a rising star in Seattle’s computer software world. He’s poured everything into success trying to prove to his father (and himself) that he is somebody. One day a letter arrives from his great-uncle’s estate, telling him that a huge house has been built for him on the Oregon coast, a location Micah has blocked from his mind since his mother’s drowning years before.
When he checks out the house, determined to put it on the market at the earliest opportunity, he is strangely drawn to it. It seems a magical place, with rooms that appear, then disappear. Rooms that seem to have specific purposes in helping Micah face his past…and his future. Rooms that represent his soul.
This novel is not the kind of suspenseful that its ‘dark’ cover seems to suggest. However, as Micah’s realities shift (literally), I found myself immersed in the story, unsure of how Jim Rubart was going to pull the threads together. It is a novel that will make you think…and make you long for a closer relationship with God.
The themes of Rooms emphasize the many barriers, such as pursuit of wealth, that we can place between us and truly knowing God. I Timothy 6:9-10 (CEV): “People who want to be rich fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them. The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.”
Jim Rubart loves God, his wife, his boys, writing, speaking, playing guitar, and golf, in that order. He dabbles in photography and owns a marketing company called Barefoot Marketing, a full service ad agency, marketing, and consulting firm for businesses and authors.
I picked up Rooms when it was offered as free Kindle download (yay iPhone reading!) awhile ago, then responded to a tweet by the publisher, B & H Publishing and won a paper copy as well. I’m glad. I want to loan this one out.
In 2008, Jim Rubart was a finalist in the speculative fiction category of the Genesis contest (as was I). Now he is a published author with two more books scheduled for release. Congrats, Jim!
I forgot to mention that I LOVE this cover — it looked like a suspense novel, and I was all for it. And, in a way, it WAS a suspense novel — just not what I expected.
Stephen raised an interesting point on our Facebook discussion, and that was his dislike of using God as a fantasy character. I can appreciate and respect his feelings about that. Until he mentioned it, I hadn't thought about it in that vein. I'm not categorically opposed to that approach — I think it can be a way to open people's minds or hearts to the possibility of a deeper relationship (or even a relationship at all) with God. I can also understand why someone would believe it cheapens God or makes Him gimmicky. I think the fantasy character approach would be a difficult one to pull off successfully. But I think back to Bill Cosby's comedy sketch about The Flood and the conversation between God and Noah. To me, that made God more real and approachable. And it was, to me, incredibly funny.
This book got my attention by being controversial, and it has made me think. Most of the thoughts have been about how and why the author chose the techniques he chose. In addition to the writing craft, I also have to consider the message he was trying to get across and how that meshes or intersects with my relationship with God. This book is like no other I've read. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened.
Jim likes to quote from Bill Cosby's Noah sketch: "Whatcha want? I've been good." Actually, he can recite a large swath of it.
You're right that the book is very unique. Once the sands started shifting under Micah's feet and his realities started noticeably shifting, the rules were gone. Anything could happen, so yes, I needed to keep reading too. While the top level of the ending didn't seem in question, what was left of Micah's former life was certainly up for grabs!
Thanks for putting up a review and starting the FB discussion. It was great to get others insights and perspectives.
It was fun getting to know you a few years back, and now to get reacquainted.
Hope your writing is going well,
Thanks for stopping by, Jim! Maybe we'll connect again one of these days. Going to conference in Indy?