• The Meeting Point - Lucy Caldwell

    A Christian Missionary in Bahrain at the outbreak of the Gulf War in 2003, and a disturbed Arab teenager traumatised by events in her past come together in this beautifully written book. This is a gentle telling of how their lives become connected, the risks they take and how faith, the loss and finding of it can have far reaching implications. There is a rhythm in this novel that pulls you through to its conclusion.
    Ruth and her husband Euan, an Irish missionary along with their daughter Anna go to Bahrain at the beginning of 2003 on secondment for a few short months. Ruth, a bit of a dreamer, an idealist has always wanted an adventure and has romanticised Bahrain before she arrived. The reality of living as an expat and the confession of her husband as to his real motive for being in Bahrain threaten to derail all she has ever been or believed in.

    Noor, a troubled teenager of mixed English and Arab parents, has recently moved to Bahrain to live with her emotionally detached father. Something has happened in England that has her spiralled into depression, she is alone, friendless and struggling to cope with her past.

    As Euan throws himself into his ďmissionĒ Ruth is left to her own devices, stranded in their compound she soon meets her neighbours and along with her daughter Anna makes an instant impression on Noor, who very quickly puts the whole Christian family on a pedestal. Left alone all day Noor is desperate for meaning in her life, but most of all she wants to be wanted and loved.

    Very quickly Noor submerges herself in Ruthís life, with Euan preoccupied, Noor and her cousin Farid offer to show Ruth Bahrainís treasures beginning with the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden, itís a huge disappointment to Ruth and shatters her hopes and her naive view of what her time in Bahrain will be, the reality of a middle eastern country come crashing into her dream world. However itís also the beginning of her loss of faith and the beginnings of Noors search for faith.

    As the 3 lives of Ruth, Noor and Farid become entangled, the book analyses how faith affects our judgements and actions, how love is lost and found and how lives connected can also be so easily shattered.

    This is a book that despite the massive theme of faith that runs throughout it, not just religious faith, but our faith in each other, in love and in ourselves manages not to be preachy. It is not action packed or laugh a minute, but the characters are all beautifully drawn and even though their actions can be frustrating are incredibly easy to believe in and emphasise with.

    I would give this 4 wine glasses, itís thought provoking and the narrative is so carefully constructed it was a delight to read.

    montydollar



    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Bad CO's Avatar
      Bad CO -
      Not my cup of team but thanks for a great review.