A faith-based book about finding fun in the grown-up world.
Debut author Devine begins this inspirational offering with a detailed story about a hound named Old Blue. The crux of the tale is that the dog, even though he still bore scars from earlier fights with animals, never gave up his quest to find and defeat a raccoon. The author uses the vignette to introduce the topic of tenacity and highlight the importance of following a plan. However, he also offers a greater message—the notion that one combats evil by giving one’s life to God: “Being led through this physical world by the spiritual person inside of you, gives the devil nowhere to hide.” The most crucial theme in the book, though, is the idea of approaching life as a child would. Kids, the author notes, are primarily concerned with the present, and, as such, they’re largely free from worries that plague so many adults. To get in the same frame of mind, Devine suggests that adults perform fun activities, such as flying kites, and engage in a serious effort to let go of the past—both as ways to reconnect with the whimsical nature of youth. He further clarifies his advice with a number of black-and-white, cartoonish illustrations that often feature a dog. A heartfelt but playful tone permeates the text; readers will likely find it difficult to doubt the genuine nature of someone who encourages them to eat more brownies, as Devine does here. Some parts of the book seem wordy and extraneous; for instance, the initial tale about Old Blue includes a buildup of several pages describing the joys of country living. These joys, such as fine home cooking, are predictable and don’t add much to the author’s broader point about the anxiety of adulthood. Although the book’s viewpoint is a Christian one, it includes quotations from several non-Christians, including Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein. As a result, the author’s overall message is more nuanced than some readers might expect.
An enthusiastic treatise, although some parts feel unnecessarily drawn-out.