Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Review: Bo's Cafe

Bo's Café: A Novel
Bo's Cafe, by John Lynch, Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol
Published by Windblown Media, 2009
256 pages, English

Author information from Amazon.com: Bruce McNicol is president of Leadership Catalyst, Inc. and an international speaker and consultant. He holds a master's in theology and a doctorate in organizational and leadership development. Previously he served for ten years as president of the international church planting organization Interest Associates.

Bill Thrall serves as vice-chair of Leadership Catalyst, mentor, and coauthor of the bestselling TrueFaced resources (www.truefaced.com), The Ascent of a Leader, and Beyond Your Best.

John Lynch is a national conference speaker and writer for LCI, holds a master's of theoology from Talbot Seminary, and has twenty years' experience as a teaching pastor of Open Door Fellowship. He's also cofounder and playwright of a theater troupe in Phoenix.

Book Summary:
High-powered executive Steven Kerner is living the dream in southern California. But when his bottled pain ignites in anger one night, his wife kicks him out. Then an eccentric mystery man named Andy Monroe befriends Steven and begins unravelling his tightly wound world. Andy leads Steven through a series of frustrating and revealing encounters to repair his life through genuine friendship and the grace and love of a God who has been waiting for him to accept it. A story to challenge and encourage, BO'S CAFE is a model for all who struggle with unresolved problems and a performance-based life. Those who desire a fuller, more authentic way of living will find this journey of healing a restorative exploration of God's unbridled grace.
When given the opportunity to read this book I jumped at it. The synopsis sounded like something I really needed to read. I didn't realize how close to home some of the message would actually hit. I was a little skeptical at the start because of the "mysterious-stranger-who-knows-all-about-you" start, but once I got into the book, it was hard to stop. Steven deals with universal issues (anger, guilt, shame) to which it's easy to relate. I found it hard to believe the premise that people would speak into someone's life in the manner which the characters speak to Steven, but that doesn't mean that no one really does that in life. I've just never experienced that kind of all-inclusive, all-encompassing friendship where you can say anything to each other and it's accepted in the spirit in which it is intended. I like that Steven's progress is not immediate and automatic. He has to work at change, which is the way someone would really have to do it. The message of this book is strong and it's not a book you should just pick up and give a half-hearted read. Take time and really dig into what the characters are saying. This book is totally worth your time and effort. You may find yourself changed after reading it.

I was provided an advance reading copy from the publisher. I received no compensation and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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