From the same publishing house that brought us the bestseller THE SHACK, Windblown Media now releases another poignant story. Thirtysomething executive Steven Kerner has a high-powered job with all the material perks to prove it. He also has an unhappy wife and a distant preteen daughter to show for his success in the workplace. With too little time, Steven finds himself angry --- too angry, too often --- and wife Lindsey has been the dumping spot for his unhappiness for as long as both of them can remember.
Though Steven would claim to be a Christian, he never allowed anyone, including Lindsey, close enough access to what's truly going on inside of him. This no-disclosure clause is finally turning into a termination notice when Lindsey tells Steven to move out, and she considers separation and then divorce. Understandably upset (and still angry), Steven moves into a nearby hotel where he tries to figure out what went wrong. Enter a mysterious God-ordained appointment in the guise of Andy Monroe, an elderly man who drives a 1970 Buick Electra Convertible and claims to be old friends with Steven's father.
Desperate and at the end of his emotional rope, Steven agrees to go for a ride with Andy in the Electra, starting one man's journey toward healing and restoration. Andy, eccentric and brash, frequently offends Steven's sensibilities with his spot-on conclusions regarding Steven's "issues." For his part, Steven often reacts defensively, but then, after some honest soul searching, realizes that Andy is correct. Over time, Steven begins to trust Andy and a friendship is forged.
On one road trip, Andy takes Steven to Bo's Café, where Steven is introduced to a bevy of interesting characters who have been previous recipients of Andy's wise counsel. Steven finds himself unable to relax at first; he's so disarmed at these folks' genuine care for him...and their abject honesty in diagnosing his problems. Finally, though, between the outer pressures of a crumbling marriage and a disintegrating relationship with his daughter, Steven gets real with Andy and his new friends, which begins an about-turn journey in facing his anger and feelings of inadequacy.
Perhaps the best message of this fictional tale is that only in a true relationship marked by forgiveness, acceptance and grace do men and women heal and mend inwardly. Sadly, as authors Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol and John Lynch propose, most churches have failed to be the safe haven individuals long for and so desperately need. As in THE SHACK, readers will discover that God's love looks quite different from that of most humans’ definition of it. Regardless of one's faith affiliation, BO’S CAFE is sure to ring true with its overriding message of unconditional love offered by a compassionate God to his flawed and erring children.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on September 25, 2009