Francine Rivers- The Masterpiece

Francine Rivers has just released her first novel in over 3 years called The Masterpiece and it doesn’t disappoint. Rivers is a Christian author, but her books can connect to anyone on a deep level. Rivers has the ability to captivate the reader from the get go, draw them in to the story and take them on a journey. I knew from the first line that book was for me.

The story follows the lives of two very different people, Grace and Roman. Grace is a newly divorced single mum who is struggling to make ends meet and Roman is an artist dealing with some pretty heavy baggage. Their paths cross when suddenly Grace finds herself standing on Roman’s doorstep as his new personal assistant. The two do not get along famously and it remains this way for a great deal of the book. Slowly they start to understand each other. Grace is strong in her faith but has been lead to temptation on several occasions. This is played out during flashbacks in various chapters. This is how we learn that Roman grew up troubled, in and out of Foster homes since he was 7. This when he first learned his talent for art, by tagging building something which has followed him into adulthood.

I won’t spoil too much, but a near death experience in Hell changes Roman and Grace’s lives and relationship forever. But will Roman’s newly found faith it bring them closer together? Or will it ruin any kind of friendship they could have?

You might be thinking- I really don’t want to read a soppy, romantic Christian novel. Well it’s actually really good. I think that regardless of your faith and beliefs, you can take something good out of it.

For a Christian author, Francine Rivers deals with some pretty heavy stuff. She shows that Christians and human beings aren’t perfect and be lead to certain temptations. But it’s how we deal with these temptations that’s the main thing. In Grace’s case she saw divorce as the only way out of her troubled marriage that she felt obligated to be in because of events that happened when she was a teenager. She later realised that you couldn’t base a marriage around lust. Roman also came to learn that the temptation to tag walls wasn’t worth the criminal charges and damage to his career, even though it did give him joy for a little while.

Rivers also shows that people, no matter how strong their faith in something may be, will have doubts mostly triggered from things in their life. They will doubt that faith but if the faith is strong enough, it will lead you back.

It was also nice to read about a near death experience that wasn’t all angels and ‘the light’. Roman is faced with death and quite literally sees Hell. I found this confronting as a reader but it was also brining reality into to and begs the question- where do we go when we die? Now that’s a debate I won’t get into but it really is food for thought. Can we even know what death is like until we experience it?

The Masterpiece is captivating, well written and has a suspenseful storyline. I’ve read a few other Francine Rivers books but this is by far my favourite. I liked how the story finishes mostly tied up, but a few questions are still left to be answered.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Romantic Fiction or anyone who is curious about Christianity or may want to broaden their knowledge about it. As a general precaution though this book is heavily faith based and contains bits of the Gospel but I also feel that because it so well written and the story is so gripping, it’s a detail that could be easy to overlook if you aren’t comfortable with it.

A fantastic read.


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