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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Heaven Weeps by Ted Dekker

Jan Jovic was forced by Karadzic, his former comrade in battle, to mistreat a handful of villagers one day following the end of World War II. Now he has traveled to America with Ivena, an old woman whose daughter he killed. They both now know the Lord and have written the story down in a book form and have made a business out of it. Jan Jovic continues to gain popularity in the media world and achieves success. He proposes marriage to his book agent and she accepts. Life is good.

Then Helen enters his life. He found her as a tramp living on the streets, running away from her abusive boyfriend. He took her in and slowly love began to blossom. But this love destroyed his suitable engagement and makes him a target for her old boyfriend. Helen feels unworthy of his love and goes back to her boyfriend. But Jan will not give up on her.

When Heaven Weeps

is a parable of sorts. Jan represents Jesus and Helen represents the world. This aspect of the book is fine; it's the lack of good characters and the unrealistic end that ruin the book.

The characters are either perfect or evil; there is no in between. I have said before that I don't like such contrasts, and I still do not. Dekker should have at least made his characters imperfect.

There are multiple showdowns between Jan and Glenn, Helen's boyfriend. They all end realistically except for the last one. The final showdown is very sensational, filled with bursts of light, distant music, and typical dialogue. It ends very unrealistically when several characters escape death in order to make the reader happy. The final showdown also betrays the parable and makes it another typical suspense plot.

As with Heaven's Wager, I liked the idea behind the plot, but did not like the end. I only wish Dekker would have lived up to his full potential in the end.

2 stars

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