The Chair: A Novel” by James L. Rubart is an interesting story, one that gets your attention quickly and holds your attention to the end.  I will again use the overused phrase “it’s a page turner” because it truly is! I kept wishing for more reading time as I read “The Chair“, the first book I have read by James L. Rubart. He has also written “Rooms” and “Book of Days”.

The Chair” is the story of a chair that is supposedly built by Jesus.   Corin Roscoe owns a struggling antique store. One day a mysterious elderly lady appears in his store and gives him a chair - a very old, fairly simple chair - and insists that he keep it. She will not tell him upfront any details about who she is, only saying that he is meant to have the chair. And she will not tell him who actually made this chair she wants him to keep, telling him that “it was made by the most talented tekton craftsman the world has ever known”.  This mystery lady tells him that he will eventually figure out who made the chair.

Really being left with not much of a choice, Corin accepts the chair and the adventure really begins.  Within days a child with a severe case of asthma is in the antiques store shopping with his mother.  The kid sits in the chair while his mom shops, unaware of anything special about this chair.  Within hours of leaving the store the child is completely rid of any signs of his asthma.  Doctors are totally dismayed by his complete change and his story quickly makes the news.  Credit is not being given to his sitting in the chair in the antique store, but when Corin reads the story of the miraculous healing of the child, he begins to wonder if the chair had something to do with it.

Corin Roscoe is not a religious man.  But he really has questions about “the chair” which seems to possibly be some sort of religious artifact.  He does searches on the Internet trying to find out information about this chair that he now has in his possession.  He talks with his girlfriend searching for some kind of help since she had grown up in a much more religious environment than he had.  Being closed minded to much talk about religion, she really does not even want to believe in any way that the chair could have healing power. Corin eventually turns to a favorite professor from his college days for help on any information about the chair. Corin’s life truly does turn upside down.  A mega church pastor who has spent his life in search of this chair puts his pressure on Corin to get his hands on the chair.  This minister will stop at nothing to get the chair.

Author James Rubart does a good job of interweaving several story lines and characters as he builds up the intrigue about the true history of the chair.  Readers will come to understand some deep secrets about Corin’s life and his struggles, his almost completely severed relationship with his brother, how ”the chair” brings about a huge strain in his girlfriend’s attitude towards him, and the discoveries about the mystery lady who gave him the chair.

I really wondered how the story would wrap up, considering all the turmoil surrounding the chair that had come into Corin Roscoe’s possesion. Did the chair really have healing powers? How would a Christian writer explain the power of a chair if it really did have power?  You will not be left with many questions about the chair when you finish up the book.  And I believe that if you do start reading this Christian fiction novel, you will be compelled to read it to the end.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being great, I  give “The Chair”, a  5

The Chair: A Novel

James L. Rubart

B&H Publishing Group

2011

ISBN 978-14336-7152-4

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