By Dann A. Stouten
The Gate has an interesting premise and it does not disappoint. Schuyler Hunt, or Sky as his friends and family call him has had his vacation plans take an unexpected turn. Instead of a week off and a few days to get away with his wife, Sky was on his own when his wife and three adult daughters decided to turn the trip into a girls' shopping excursion in Chicago.
I personally can't imagine spending a week-end shopping, so I'm obviously of the same mind as Sky (and most likely a disappointment to my grandmother on that score!). Give me a good book any day over shopping and The Gift definitely fits the criteria.
When an online ad for an old inn catches his eye, Sky checks it out over his week-end off. What was merely curiosity is about to become a turning point in Sky's life. As various people from his past visit and reminisce with him they leave him bits of wisdom that will effect changes in how he sees and lives life.
The Gate reminds me of two movies that I've seen The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Ultimate Gift. But The Gift is better in that you get to understand Sky - his thoughts, the decisions that shaped him into who he is today In short you discover who he is and how his decisions shaped his life. If you could interact face to face with God in a down to earth setting from your childhood would you choose to? This is what Sky has to decide - will he spend time with God and become more or will he return home trapped in his mediocre, ordinary, lukewarm Christian life.
Some of the insights that most resonated with me are:
1) that we all have ups and downs in our story,
2) time is an unrenewable resource,
3) answers take time and wisdom takes endurance,
4) don't waste your time trying to impress acquaintances focus this time instead on your family,
5) love and forgiveness are a choice, a choice that reflects your heart.
The Gift is a book that truly is a gift in that it speaks to the human heart, which we all have. It is never too late for any heart to be touched until God says it is too late and He gives us a lifetime to find it. This is a book that you will want to read again and to share with your family and friends. I would love to take a trip to Angel's Gate - the back door to God's country and The Gift will give you a glimpse into it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review and my honest opinion.
Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.