Official Review: The Yoke by Darrell Dunham

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Tanaya
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Official Review: The Yoke by Darrell Dunham

Post by Tanaya » 07 Sep 2017, 11:31

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Yoke" by Darrell Dunham.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Yoke is a novel by Darrell Dunham. It belongs in the category of Christian fiction.

Barnabas Mitchell is a trial lawyer who has had a nemesis, Bill Cushman, since high school. While the prologue presents a case in which the two are on opposing sides, the story takes us back to when Barnabas was twelve. His mother, a faithful Christian woman, is hit by a drunk driver and spends the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Barnabas stays close to home as he attends college, in order to provide for her, and later attends law school. During a moot court competition, he meets Stephanie Schultz and her parents, who, like his mother, are full of faith in God. Barnabas, however, has been on the fence in that department.

This novel is about 280 pages long. It is written in the third person, most often from the perspective of Barnabas. In his earlier years, Barnabas wrote very actively in a journal, and some of his entries are included in the narrative. The story is told at a great pace, as readers gain a well-balanced and in-depth survey of Barnabas’ major life events, relationships, and motivations. He is a fully developed character who is relatable and realistically grounded in his fears, hopes, and confusion about life, love, and God. We see a thorough unfolding of his career path as well as the shaping of his internal world.

Bill’s character, on the other hand, was the most disappointing aspect of the novel. He is intentionally unlikeable. He is lazy and gets away with nearly everything due to his family’s connections. I expected more from his storyline. He has a minimal presence in the story as a whole, popping up at inconvenient times for our hero. But every story has to have some kind of conflict. Without giving away spoilers, I just wish this particular part of the plot had been more satisfying.

Besides Bill, the other people in Barnabas’ life are truly a treasure. While he and Stephanie appear to have different beliefs, she and her family pray for him and welcome him into their home. His relationship with her family was one of my favorite parts of the book. They see the goodness and potential in him when he isn’t too sure of himself. They are kind and wise, genuinely concerned for his well-being and filled with hope on his behalf.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was very well written. Stephanie and her family, as well as many other characters in the novel, set an amazing example. Overall, the characters were so well crafted that they felt real. The love that they had was certainly impressed upon me, as a reader, and I appreciate being able to be a part of their experiences. I would recommend this to those who enjoy an encouraging, faith-based novel or those who, like Barnabas, are on the fence in regards to the Christian faith and could use some inspiration.

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The Yoke
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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley » 04 Dec 2017, 08:26

I do love a good Christian fiction story. This sounds like a pretty good one. I'm sure that I would be talking to Bill and expressing my dislike of him! Thanks for the review.
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Post by Mjgarrison » 04 Dec 2017, 11:48

Sounds like a good read. The struggle seems very real for these characters, thanks for the great review.

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Post by Gunnar Ohberg » 06 Dec 2017, 21:07

Based on the review, I'm not entirely sure what this book is really about, other than its "Christian, good" and "non-Christian, bad" themes.

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Post by inaramid » 07 Dec 2017, 00:13

Nice review. Books like these often throw me off for being so "preachy." It doesn't seem to be the case, judging from your review, but I think I'll hold off for now.

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Post by hsimone » 07 Dec 2017, 06:38

I actually read this one, and I agree with the points that you made. Bill's character was disappointing (and might I add, annoying), but everyone else was a blessing to Barnabas' life. Some of the lawyer did go over my head a bit, but overall, I agree, it was an enjoyable and encouraging read. Thank you for sharing and I'm glad you enjoyed the book!
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

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