Book Review: Book of Days
by James L. Rubardt, Review by Donna Totey
“… in Your book all my days were recorded, even those which were purposed before they had come into being.”
Do you know anyone who is struggling with the existence of God? Anyone who believes that He exists but doesn’t know what to do with that knowledge? They have a lot in common with Cameron Vaux, the central character in Book of Days by James L. Rubart.
After his father dies from apparent Alzheimer’s disease, and his wife dies in a plane accident, Cameron starts to find that some of his memories are slipping away and he fears he’s suffering the same fate as his dad. He recalls his father, in a more coherent moment, telling him about a book, written by God, which has all of one’s days recorded in it, past, present and future. His wife also refers to the same book shortly before her death. Cameron feels that finding the book is the key to fixing his memory problems.
He heads to Three Peaks, Oregon to find clues to the book’s whereabouts. What he finds is a very tight, small community who, for the most part, won’t discuss the book. He meets the fanatical Jason Judah, who seems to worship the idea of the book. Through several enigmatic clues, the path leads to Taylor Stone, who seems to hold the key to finding the book. The question is whether the book is real or just a legend. Also, enter Ann Bannister, Cameron’s late wife’s friend and foster sister, who is on a search of her own.
Book of Days was written while Rubart’s own father was dying of Alzheimer’s. Rubart writes a lovely note at the end of the book about his father (don’t miss it.) The question arose for Rubart as to what happens to his father’s memories. He says that God gave him Psalm 139:16. Thus, the idea for Book of Days was born.
Book of Days, not only was an intriguing mystery, but also a good allegory for those who are seeking God. Cameron was surrounded by people who had deep relationships with God, but failed to see Him until his own memory loss prompted him to seek out the Book of Days. Maybe some of us are still seeking God, while others have had circumstances, much like Cameron’s, that sent us running to find God.
Taylor and Cameron both are paralyzed by events of the past. Taylor, in particular, can’t let go of past mistakes and past hurts. There’s a strong message of forgiveness, both of others and ourselves, that frees the person who forgives.
Jason Judah is the perfect example of someone who worships the creation and forgets to worship the Creator. He takes this “religion” so far that it becomes a cult, neither relying on the truth in the Bible, nor on God.
I found the book intriguing and I really didn’t anticipate the outcome until the very end. There are tender moments, very suspenseful moments and I really didn’t want to put the book down! I couldn’t wait to figure out whether the Book of Days was, indeed, real or not. I especially like how we find out about Cameron’s life a little at a time through flashbacks.
There are many themes running through this book and a lot of smaller storylines. The twists and turns in the plot will ensure that you’ll be on the edge of your seat. Cameron’s journey to find a real Book of Days, like a lot of us, is about a journey to find out if God is real. Anyone who’s longing for connection, with God and with others, will relate to some part of this book. Because we’re all seekers, in one way or another.