Friday, June 20, 2003

Jonah Christopher and the Last Chance Mass by William Ferguson


Writers Club Press, 0595258794, $11.95



Like his Bibilical namesake, Jonah Christopher has seen his share of adventure. Now settled contentedly into the life of a middle-school teacher, Jonah's only concern is a relaxing Spring Break away from his troubles. He wants to take his girlfriend Catherine fishing, and forget for a moment her free-thinking father and his fundamentalist neighbor, both of whom have proven to be constant thorns in his sides.



The Blessed Virgin, to whom Jonah is very much devoted, has other plans. One night after falling asleep in the garage, resting in the wooden boat he made especially for his vacation, Jonah awakes to find himself in "aeviternity," in a timeless state where snow is warm and a mysterious priest/guide is popping through a new hatch at the bottom of Jonah's boat. Jonah learns Mary has chosen him for a special mission - to battle the ultimate evil. Jonah isn't entirely certain what to look for, but knows at least that the red-haired girl with the eerie blue eyes following him throughout this strange journey in one harbringer of doom. Luckily, for this adventure Jonah has the ultimate weapon - prayer.



Catholic journalist Ferguson's first novel-length foray into fiction is an adventure for the soul. Moments of good humor, coupled with orthodox Catholic sentiment that is neither preachy nor stiff, make Jonah Christopher a good summer read.



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