Book review: The Blackberry Bush

by David Householder


I have strong feelings about this book. I just don’t know what they are. I must endorse it, because it’s unforgettable.

The Blackberry Bush was authored by a Facebook friend, whom I picture as a conservative “Christian teacher-leader” (David’s words) living 2,000 miles away. I’m not sure “conservative” is how David pictures himself, so I’ve probably already insulted him. And I’m not much of a fiction reader; this will be my last for a while—I’m burned out. But on a whim, I asked for a copy. David turned out to be quite insightful, and a superb fiction writer besides!

The two main characters, a boy and girl growing up on opposite sides of the world, are quite vivid. You’ll identify with one or the other, and possibly both. They are both very real—very real!—and what troubles me most about the book is that I dislike one of them. I don’t want to, and I don’t think I’m supposed to, but I do.

I can’t describe the emotional journey, so I won’t try. Just read it, and let yourself be immersed in feeling; it might change your view of life. The book is more spiritual than Christian, so it won’t change your life that way. It’s certainly not going to talk you into a church building. I’m not really sure “spiritual” is even the right word. Honestly, I can’t put my finger on the feelings it evokes, but there is one word at the root of it all. A word with many definitions, all of them lacking. That word is Faith.

I wish the book were true. I wish all that’s wrong with this screwed-up world could just work itself out, like a rubber band unraveling under its own pressure, perhaps with a little karma, or predestination, or meddling from above, or an intertwining of energies, or whatever your religious bent is, leaving everybody happy in the end. But life is messier than that, and the kinks don’t always get worked out. There’s no guarantee of happiness. So where does that leave faith? Faith certainly isn’t wishing, nor is it holding hands and singing Kumbaya. But whatever it is, David’s book will strengthen yours.

The author thinks this would be a good book for teens and book clubs. Ahh, what do authors know, he’s flat wrong. It’s for parents and grandparents.


  1. Okay, that definitely sounds interesting.

  2. Just passing by from a FB link from Mr. Housholder. Glad I found your blog… I’m linking it, and look forward to reading through past and future reviews.


  3. Thanks so much, Rob and Sheila!

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