The best way that I can try to describe this novel is: a poetic, spiritual, modern-day western. I know that sounds a bit strange but it is quite lovely. The writing is superb and the characters are very well-developed...you feel as if you know them and they are such wonderful personalities. The novel is narrated by an 11-year old asthmatic boy Reuben and follows a family who embarks on a journey to save their outlaw brother/son.
Now, if you're the type of reader who only enjoys a quick page-turner...this is not the book for you, the story and the characters develop slowly. Also, there is much discussion of God, miracles, the Bible, etc. This can be bothersome to some...however, I would not characterize this as a "Christian" book but rather a spiritual one. Maybe that's due to my own upbringing or the fact that many of the main religions believe in the same God (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) and there's no evangelizing going on at any point. Either way, if that's not your bag you may want to skip this book. If neither the religious overtones nor the slowly unfolding storyline are a deterrent then I highly suggest this book. I love the message, characters, and the wonderful story-within-a-story written by the sister Swede.
Next up...a little fantasy with The Name of the Wind!