I am a Rubart fan! My favorites are the Well Spring Novels, Soul's Gate, Memory's Door, and Spirit Bridge. His newest gem falls closer to these earlier works. I love how Rubart brings the spiritual world to life in the black and white pages. Many don't think much about it, but it is very real.
There are always dark and light, good and evil, angels and demons, at work in us and around us. After all Satan is here to destroy and kill. He hunts us.
We can see this in The Man He Never Was. What is it that I love? Let's start with the title. The Man He Never Was. Toren Daniels is like all of us. We don't want to admit that. That too was his issue. We know of the man he was before he was married and then the man after he was married. He lived with anger. He battled it. It was getting the best of him. He was at the end and this is where he has an experience he never expected. Through good verses evil, the battle continues, and we see Toren become a man he never was. He didn't become the man he use to be. There was something new in him. He had lessons to learn, a life to give up, and a God to trust.
The cover also captivates me. We see the shadow of him walking through all that is green. For me, this is Toren walking away from who he was and embracing this new life in him. He had to walk the journey, he had to go the distance, he had to face the demons that held him from truly seeing beyond his vision.
Rubart takes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and writes a story of today using this same premise of good verses evil. We get to see his journey as he comes face to face with the spiritual world around him. His life has become a mess and if he doesn't do something he will only spiral downward even more. But what I love is that this isn't about fixing his marriage or his relationship with his children. Yes, those are important. But more importantly Toren has to learn to love himself and this is something has never done. His past collides on the field as his anger only grows.
Yes, in reading this novel it is easy to see how it will end. We know that good surpasses the evil. But it is the journey getting there that I loved. The words flow. The chapters connect greatly. The story continually grows and it kept my attention. I was able to read it in one setting, but what I will do now is go back to those last chapters and reread them. They go deep below the surface of what we naturally see. They bring to light the spiritual world around us. For me that are very poignant to my life today. Releasing the anger, looking back over my life, seeing the life I live today, and coming to understand that the new person God is creating me to be isn't something of my past. She isn't someone I once was. Not someone that is impossible to obtain. But someone very real when I make the decision to die to self and look to Jesus. (Galatians 2:20 and 2 Corinthians 5:17).
I cannot wait to see what's next for Mr. Rubart. I am always intrigued and always walk away from his works with much to ponder.
This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you.
James L. Rubart is the bestselling, Christy, Carol, RT Book Reviews, and INSPY award winning author of nine novels. A professional marketer and speaker, James and his wife have two grown sons and live in the Pacific Northwest. Want to stay in touch with James? Sign up for his newsletter (and an occasional freebie!) at JamesLRubart.com