My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Full disclosure: I am an author for Kalos Press and received a free copy of this book for review. Update: I just got my physical copy of the book. It looks great. And I do not say that lightly. Of course I look at this product as a foretaste of what my own book will look like.)
When I was asked to write a review for Winter Light, I got nervous. This is the first release from my publisher and I have this ridiculous desire to be honest about what books I like and don’t like.
What if it’s bad?
Thankfully, I loved this book enough to swallow it whole. The whole time I read, my heart beat like a hammer in my chest with conviction and catharsis. I could not stop reading, though it was painful sometimes. Painful, like the way a good novelist describes a broken heart all too well.
It’s a book about one man’s quest for humility. A journal. He call’s it his “winter journal.”
I cannot remember if it was Thomas Merton or Eugene Peterson who I heard talk of the “interior life” for the first time. “So that’s what it’s called.” Bruce Ray Smith gives us a glimpse into his and it worked like a mirror. A mirror reflecting back not only my own lack of concern for my pride but my own need to want humility.
Is it written well? Yes, very. It has the rhythm and style at times of poetry and the best of prose.
This book is not a sermon, lecture or manual. Thankfully. But a confession of oceanic depth of the very thing we all need to plumb but have the fear of doing so. Smith dives into his own pride and need for humility with honesty, intensity and a raw elegance. Without exhibitionism.
I had no reason to be nervous. In fact, I breathed a sigh of relief after about 40 pages in thinking, “these are the kinds of books we need in the Protestant, Evangelical world!”
The only problem? I wanted more. Hopefully there will be.