All That We Carried by Erin Bartels had all of the makings of a typical Christian fiction book. Two estranged family members who are emotionally unable to deal with events of their past are unable to deal with their current lives as well. Suddenly they find themselves reconnecting and being forced to rely upon one another. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Plus, they are going backpacking so that is always fun.
As this story progresses it becomes nothing more than an obvious and not so subtle parable of life and the Savior’s role in it. That is not always a bad thing either, but everything in it is designed to specifically force the parable back onto the reader and it just did not read as an enjoyable opportunity to see the way Christ works in people’s lives. Not only that, but the way the story ran it appears that Christ helps us and then He abandons us. That is really what threw the whole thing off for this reader.
The story does not feel natural and flowing. It feels as though the author took a beloved pastime with her sister and then plot-marked all of the things she could pack into the book to illustrate her point. This contrived feel is where the book departs from enjoyable and becomes almost a textbook for picking out the various comparisons. The author did not connect this reader to the characters. Rather the characters felt detached and only there to illustrate a point. The best part is learning that one of the events of the book actually happened to the author.
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Revell
Violence/Gore: A character has blood from an injury.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of parents, estrangement.
Alcohol / Drug Use: