Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I have a confession to make: I don't read a lot of books like The Dreaming Highway. My tastes run more toward Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and assorted non-fiction works. But Bryan Thompson has delivered a story that is refreshingly free of explosions, intrigue, tawdriness, politics, vampires, or Amish romance and instead paints a picture of a journey of hope.

Former seminary student Seth Reynolds is troubled by a recurring dream about a former flame. This dream propels him on a cross country journey, accompanied by his brother (who happens to be gay), a televangelist priest, and a young woman who is studying to be a rabbi. Although it may sound like the opening line of a joke ("a priest, a rabbi, and a minister go on a trip..."), each character is vested in a rich humanity that defies stereotype. The trip is infused with a subtle humor, which brings a smile at some of the odd situations in which Seth finds himself.

The Dreaming Highway wisely avoids the pitfall of pontification, while presenting the themes of following one's dream and holding on to hope in spite of circumstances. In fact, the novel reads like a movie--not the major studio summer blockbuster kind, but rather an artful indie film, the kind that wins the hearts of viewers and critics alike.

I recommend getting a cup of coffee and settling down with a copy of The Dreaming Highway. I'm looking forward to more from Bryan Thompson.

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