Slow Brewing Tea by Randy Loubier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
80% of why I picked this up was the title; the other 20% was because well, it did sound intriguing.
To be honest, when I started reading, I wavered between "I hope he does it well" and "how terrible can this get?"
Loubier does quite well in the beginning. Itsuki's teachings start off mysterious and enticing, wrapped in Japanese sayings and Taoist words (I don't know how accurate this is) - though if you've been a long time Christian, it's obvious that it has a Christian source, no matter what other trappings are added to it. There's a tension in Isaiah's search for God - his reactions and anger come from a place of truth. I'm sure many who have been hurt by the church can relate.
As you proceed through the story, however, and Itsuki's teaching gets clearer and more explicit, the narrative itself starts to get just a little too preachy - especially during, you know, the expected conversion scene. (Is this a spoiler? It can't be a spoiler - it's key to every Christian fiction.) I suppose, as a pastor, Loubier didn't quite manage to stop from sermonising just a little. It IS, however, a story about coming to faith - so it's not anything unexpected or anything that might blindside you.
I suppose if you like a little dose of apologetics with your fiction, this is the sort of thing that you'll like. I think it will appeal more to those who are already Christians or people who are struggling with faith & the church. It was just a tad to slow (lol) and on-the-nose for me to truly enjoy it.
Note: I received a digital ARC of this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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