Thank you, Susan, for a thoughtful, personal review. Like your airplane and jail ministry experience, we shall probably not…. In the Gospel stories we see Jesus encountering and embracing lepers, cripples, prostitutes, tax cheats, demoniacs, beggars, blind men, and heartbroken widows — those at the bottom and fringes of society of his times.
And one could add women and children to that list. He is able to speak only a few words; he is big and clumsy. When his mother is near, Jotham is nourished by her light and warmth as he goes about his simple tasks.
Then his mother dies suddenly and the light goes out for him. His father is icy cold and dismissive, his sister Adina self-absorbed in her own grief. Jotham walks away from his home to the village, and there he waits, day after day. And then one morning, Jotham senses something new. An excited crowd swirls into the village, and Jotham sees an intense, warm light emanate from it. There he is, Jesus of Nazareth, the preacher. Jotham is compelled to follow and stay close to that light, regardless of the ridicule he endures as he follows the crowd, and becomes part of the entourage travelling with Jesus.
I took this book along on a family vacation to Ireland. On the flight home, I noticed a couple of families with young children four rows ahead of my husband and me. One little boy, about two years old, was struggling and crying. The other family had two little girls, busy with books and crayons.
Then I opened The Book of Jotham and read it through. When I had finished, I reflected again on the tableaux of the two families sitting ahead of us, and I was ashamed of the way I thoughtlessly jumped to a conclusion, stereotyped the little boy, and minimized his human worth because I assumed he was mentally handicapped. They were on a messianic journey with Jesus, the Rabbi. They had grand if perhaps confused ambitions, and someone like Jotham had nothing to offer, indeed, was a burden. They judged him, impulsively, based on how he looked and what he could contribute to the cause.
Though some readers find this section difficult to follo William Faulkner's best-known novel, The Sound and the Fury , the book that propelled him to the '49 Nobel Prize, purports to be "a tale told by an idiot. Though some readers find this section difficult to follow, Benjy's perspective offers unbiased penetration into many other characters' true motivations. In Faulkner's inimitable telling, Benjy's specialness gives insight, enabling him to apprehend a deeper, underlying Truth. Compare Quentin, the most intelligent and most tormented Compson.
Unable to confront or accept reality, Quentin's febrile mind dwells endlessly on the South's post-war squalor. Though brilliant, Quentin succumbs to mortal despair. This inversion of rationalist, Enlightenment values evokes Dostoyevsky's masterwork, The Brothers Karamazov , wherein the smartest brother, Ivan, is tortured and crippled by existential doubt. In contrast, the simple, unquestioning faith exhibited by the ostensibly least-intelligent brother, Alyosha, represents the path to wisdom and salvation.
Upon these literary foundations stands The Book of Jotham , a Catholic novella penned in the 's which slept unpublished for 23 long years. As reviewer Ellen G. Readers afraid to venture into the consciousness of a mentally-challenged narrator may prefer something lighter, whereas bold readers hungering for a new perspective on Christ's miraculous life and teachings may find this remarkable, spiritual work deeply rewarding.
Readers of faith should celebrate the belated emergence of this compelling text from its decades-long hibernation. Feb 17, Karen Boyce rated it it was amazing. Many writers are good and some writers are talented. The rare writer is both but also has a cadence, a rhythm, and an almost lyrical quality to his verse.
Arthur Powers is one of those rare authors. In his new novella, The Book of Jotham, he invites us into the song of Jotham, the tale of a mentally-challenged man who lives in the time of Christ. Our journey with Jotham includes his participation in the the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. His simple take on the charity of Christ adds a sense of reality to the miracle. We are with him as Peter shares his sandals and introduces Thomas. Yet, the most profound relationship that Jotham develops, excluding that with his Abba, is the one he develops with Mary.
Her compassion toward Jotham is revealed not only in her kindness, but in the glow of the Christ-light that grows in her. Jotham can see that light of Christ as it is transferred from the source of all light to those who follow his ways. It is a powerful explanation of how the Holy Spirit places the light of Christ into each individual believer. If only we, like Jotham, had the gift of seeing Christ in others. So few see the light as Jotham does. So few see the love that Abba Jesus has for his slow- minded creation. Yet, as we think of Jotham as limited, this powerful author shows us that we are the limited.
We are limited by our fear, our intelligence, our greed, and our sin. To truly see the pure light that Jotham does, we need to have the pure heart that he possesses.
Jotham - Wikipedia
In this short magical read, Powers weaves us the story of a man who processes more than we ever will. A pure, simple, and loving heart that is drawn to the light of Christ without impediment. This is a powerful journey that we take with Jotham — a journey to the truth. Love is more powerful than any knowledge or pride we may have. And the love of Christ is the most powerful love of all. Arthur Powers for The Book of Jotham, this is more than just a tale. It is a love song you have created. I highly recommend this book! Apr 04, Katie rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved reading this story and experiencing the Passion in an entirely new way.
The powerful tale will be loved by all Christians and will hopefully open some eyes, and hearts. Also a wonderful testimony to the dignity of every human life. I loved this book. I don't know the exact word count, but it's either a short novel or a novella.
- Paddle Hard (Dangerous Days II Book 2).
- See a Problem?.
- Regional Development Strategies: A European Perspective (Regions and Cities).
The concept was wonderfully executed, and though we watch the world through Jotham's eyes, we see the motivation and development of compelling Gospel characters like Judas and Mary Magdalene. I had always had questions about Judas Iscariot - was he in control and responsible for his actions if God needed them to happen, and, what could make him do what he did? Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth m I loved this book.
Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth miniseries handled the Judas character brilliantly, and the Book of Jotham handled him just as well. In Jotham, you feel the everyday words and anxieties more intimately of these and other characters and think, "Yes, it not only could have been that way, but it must have been that way. Aristotle's Poetics called this 'catharsis,' but it's just something you have to experience by reading exceptional writing like this.
Sep 08, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a novella about Jesus, as seen from the point of view of a fictitious disciple. The light, it turns out, is Jesus. Joyfully and easily, without a shadow of doubt or a particle of reluctance, Jotham falls in with Mary Magdalene and the Apostles, and begins following Jesus.
He is with them through the days of preaching and miracles, he is with them at Jerusalem where he witnesses the crucifixio This is a novella about Jesus, as seen from the point of view of a fictitious disciple. He is with them through the days of preaching and miracles, he is with them at Jerusalem where he witnesses the crucifixion and resurrection, and he is with them at Pentecost.
This book is about the knowledge of God. From his first meeting with Jesus, Jotham possesses a gift of understanding that even the Apostles closest to Jesus lack: Jotham knows Christ, and through Christ he knows the Father he calls Abba, and he knows the Spirit that comes as light and flame.
And it is remarkable; no one needs to teach him this. And anyway, Jotham can barely speak, and understands little of what is said around him. I think there is an important message here for those of us who look for God in words and in books, even while knowing He is a living Person. A message for us, who puzzle over the Trinity in our minds, even while knowing it is a mystery. Books, words, thoughts, theology - all this is good, all this is important - BUT there is a better and more perfect understanding, an understanding that transcends words, and it is a true gift of God.
This is the gift that Jotham possesses. Well-written, short and memorable. Aug 29, Susan rated it really liked it. A simple, yet profound read.
The Book of Jotham
Written as a novella, I picked up that even the short length of the story proves that truth can be presented succinctly in few words. Jotham as a disabled man communicates his journey with Christ and humanity in a very sensory way. He processes events and the genuine character of individuals around him through what he feels. This is opposite of what we define as competence. His conversation is limited but his understanding of relationship with the Creator and Savior A simple, yet profound read.
His conversation is limited but his understanding of relationship with the Creator and Savior is deep and necessary.
He epitomizes that "childlike faith" our Lord so encouraged in each one of us. What I like most about this story is that Jesus could have restored Jotham to complete normalcy, but chose for the better of surrounding souls to live and let live. Jotham's underlying peace and received love was grace enough to endure mockery and insults. Although challenged in a way that I felt he was locked inside his disability, Jotham no less understood when he was being insulted or loved: A most basic intelligence.
The book's message is encouraging to those who are caregivers to disabled people. Wholeness as a perception is expressed in this novella as one that draws us to faith, something beyond what we see, feel, hear, and taste. Jul 26, Caroline Valencia Dalisay rated it it was amazing. I am so glad Mr. Powers wrote The Book of Jotham. Powers used brought me to a level where I saw the world through Jotham's heart and it was a much higher place than where I was.
Being familiar with the gospels, I marveled at the inclusion of Jotham in them, which I used to my advantage I put myself in his sandals and they fit. I always remember my favorite books by the message I walk away with after reading them. The Book of Jotham gave me this: I don't know if t I am so glad Mr. I don't know if there can be a better message. God bless you, Mr. Powers for this humbling and uplifting tale, beautifully written, wonderfully told.
I wrote the above review in Amazon right after I read the book. There is something uniquely wonderful in The Book of Jotham: It is a story worth reading not only for its literary soundness, which is quite a big bonus in itself, but for what it does to your heart. Dec 20, Jeanne rated it it was amazing. Depicting the life of Christ from the perspective of a mentally-challenged man, The Book of Jotham is a tale that is both haunting and lyrical.
The story is narrated in the second person in short sentences that take on a poetic quality.