Book Review: These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker

From the Back Cover

Once held captive and tortured on a mysterious mountain, Dan was lucky to have made it out alive. But freedom comes at a cost. Left with little memory of the horrific ordeal, Dan can recall one thing – his escape meant leaving his brother behind. 

With each day that passes, Dan waits with the other survivors in hope of his brother’s escape. But just as long forgotten memories start rising to the surface, the sudden appearance of a wounded woman throws everything into question. As Dan struggles to know who to trust, he is caught once again in a paralyzing moral dilemma. 

How far will he go to save the people he loves? 

My Thoughts 

These Nameless Things is slightly reminiscent of the TV show LOST. The reader sees and understands the present moment through the eyes and memory of each character. The mental anguish and conflict comes through loud and clear – with each memory recovered the pieces begin to slide into a wide-lens view of Dan’s life and choices – and how he has hurt others. 

It is the kind of book that after you read it through once, you have to read it again just to soak in the nuances you missed the first time – the very best kind of book. 

I have a confession: I’ve only vaguely heard of Dante and his inferno nevermind actually read it. It occupies a dusty space on my shelf simply because it’s a classic. After opening the classic and trying to slog through the prose, I was seized by the bizarre idea that if I wasn’t up to the task of reading a book most people read in college, how could I truly grasp Shawn’s new book? 

What kept me going? Shawn’s craft. The weaving of mysterious references and people and hints and all those delightful things kept me turning the pages. Then somewhere around in the first quarter of the story, I finally got to the point where I let go of that bizarre idea and simply let the story work on my soul. 

Stories have a way of lifting our eyes and hearts to see the obvious thing we somehow forget is in front of our faces:

The idea that forgiveness is rarely painless and without great cost.

The idea that we can atone for the wrongs we’ve done.

The idea that grace and mercy is bittersweet knowing the cost of the one who gives it and knowing we don’t deserve it.

To come face to face with the depths of our own human sinfulness and know true hopelessness. Then to be given the impossible! Hope. Freedom. There is nothing quite like it. 

A costly gift. 

This is the story of These Nameless Things. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Themes

memories, family, forgiveness, guilt, redemption, dilemmas, sacrifice

Reservations

none

Recommendations

Get ready for a page turner that will take you deep into the mind and life of Dan and his connection to the group of random people huddled in the shadow of a brooding mountain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: