“In America, you have much to hope in besides God.”
Randy Alcorn’s novel, “Safely Home” is full of lines that made me stop and ponder. The novel centers around two main characters: Ben Fielding, an American businessman and Li Quan, a Chinese locksmith. The two met years prior when they were roommates in college. Since then Quan has returned to China where he faces persecution for being a Christian, while Ben has abandoned his faith to pursue success and money in America. A business trip to China where Ben is reunited with his old roommate changes the course of his life.
Alcorn’s novel serves as a great awareness to the persecution happening to Christians in China. I found myself often-times feeling the way the character of Ben Fielding felt; completely shocked by a culture who could imprison, torture, even kill you for your faith. We Americans enjoy so many freedoms, it’s hard to imagine everyone in the world doesn’t have the same luxury. We’ve come to believe in human rights and decency and assume the rest of the world is on the same page.
As far as writing style, it was at times very jarring. Much of the middle was long and hard to read. I understood that Randy was more interested in informing the reader than in entertaining the reader, but I wish he had found a way to do both. Only because I was already invested in the characters and wanted to know what would become of them, did I press on and finish the book. I loved how he wove in heaven and hell and how the Chinese culture became alive to me. His characterization was good. I empathized with the characters and could identify with them.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. More importantly I believe it is a book all Christians should read. We should get out of our bubble and realize how big the world is out there. We should be aware of the persecution other Christians face just for reading their bible, worshipping, praying; all the things we take for granted. And we should ask ourselves, are we taking advantage of these liberties to the fullest? And if we weren’t able to do these things would we still do them, even at the expense of our own lives? Heavy questions, but telling answers…..
Until next time…happy reading!