December 3, 2017

The Yoke by Darrell Dunham

The Yoke is a touching and inspiring book written by Darrell Dunham.

Since his mother’s accident, Barnabas Mitchell’s life has become a constant struggle and a series of hardships and difficulties. Just when it seems like it wouldn’t get any worse, his father left and never came back. Barnabas buried himself in his studies and did very well in school. Unlike other kids his age, Barnabas had only a few preoccupations that gave meaning to his life: taking care of his mother, writing on his journal and playing basketball.  When his mother died, Barnabas lost faith in God and in people. He fell into depression. However, out of love and respect for his mother’s memory, he soldiered on.

Bill Cushman is the good looking and charming son of a rich and influential man. He is lazy and arrogant, thinks highly of himself and less of other people. He never works for what he wanted. He cheats his way through it, uses other people to get it or simply asks his father to do something about it. Wherever Barnabas goes, Bill unexpectedly shows up and makes life harder for Barnabas than it already is.

This is a wonderful and beautifully written book about one man’s struggles and unwavering determination to live a respectable and honorable life despite the seemingly endless difficulties. It is an inspiring tale of love, courage, perseverance, integrity and faith. It shows how a man with nothing to show for himself but his work ethics and credibility can make it through and be among the best in what he does. Moreover, it depicts how God works in mysterious ways by sending someone the worst person to bring out the best in him, and using the most unlikely person to bring about the change that the best and finest people could not.

The author creates admirable and endearing characters including Sam Schultz and Kyle and Sarah Williams. In the end, however, I find Stephanie Schultz my favorite. She is patient, smart and kind and she lives by her faith through and through.

The part I like the most in the book is when Barnabas was presented a choice between ending his financial difficulties for good and doing what is right without any indication of getting anything in return. For me, it was the greatest manifestation of honorability.

However, I find some parts of the narration a little bit unnatural for fiction. Moreover, as especially mentioned in the book, a part of the court case was somehow too technical and might cause some readers’ interest to falter.

Despite those issues, I enjoyed the book immensely and I recommend it to those who are looking for inspiration and to those who simply want to feel good.

Congratulations to Darrell Dunham (@DunhamAuthor) on such a marvelous book!            

The Yoke was an Book of the Day on November 28th. You may check it out at Online Book Club.

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