“The Prodigal Son” tells cautionary, albeit authentic, tale

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By Carmen Glover

Kimberla Lawson Roby’s latest installment of the Reverend Black books “The Prodigal Son” (Grand Central Publishing, $26) offers a cautionary tale for anyone who has been tempted to act without giving careful thought to the worst case scenario. Replete with lessons that are applicable across generational lines, “The Prodigal Son” is a smooth, enlightening and entertaining read that quotes lavishly from the Bible to buttress its central theme of unconditional love and the importance of forgiveness.

The book details the lifestyle and family dynamics of the Reverend Curtis Black, who has two sons and two daughters. Matthew, 20, abandons his four-year scholarship at Harvard after a year to pursue other passions, while Alicia and Dillon, in their late twenties, seem content to drift along and live off their father. At 6, Curtina is the youngest. Each adult in the story feels justified in approaching life from a particular perspective, without carefully examining the potential consequences of hasty decisions and the impact of those actions on others.

The relationships that the Reverend Black has with his children, their mothers and partners have varying degrees of closeness and conflict, which cause a range of emotional upheaval and uncertainty.Not without fault, the Revered Black finds himself caught up in a tsunami of emotions as his children’s lives spiral out of control, thrusting the family into chaos, anguish and tumult. Relationships fray, secret plots are hatched, deceptions are uncovered and  promises are broken with impunity until emotions boil to a crescendo of rage, resulting in unimaginable horror and pain.

Religious skeptics often cite the dysfunction of church life, its members and the pastor’s family in particular, as deterrents for embracing religious practices in everyday life. While the “The Prodigal Son” carefully tackles these issues and more, it introduces elements to the story that raise legitimate questions about churchgoers, their activities and the quality of the examples they set for their children based on the lives they lead themselves. At the same time, the book outlines the message that dastardly deeds contrived in secrecy will eventually come to light with devastating consequences that are often hard to envision when emotions cloud people’s thoughts and logic. “The Prodigal Son” is expertly written and authentically told.  –OnPointPress.net.

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