Friday, June 01, 2007

The Prince

The Prince by Francine Rivers, 2005.

I am always honest. Maybe not always brutally honest. But honest enough. I must admit to having a love-hate relationship with The Prince. Why? Only one reason. Long chapters. (For a 204 page book to only have six chapters....means the chapters are TOO long and require TOO much commitment.) Why do I mention commitment issues? Well, I do most of my reading at night. (If not all of my reading at night.) It is one thing to commit to reading a chapter that is eight or twelve pages long. It is quite another to commit to reading a forty page chapter. I suppose the obvious solution would be to read as far as I could and leave off in mid-chapter. But here's the thing, I hate to do that. It drives me crazy to not finish a chapter once I've started it. I'll occasionally do it. But it irritates me. I like closure. I like to have a nice, firm stopping place. Because reading "just one more chapter" seems so doable if it's short, I might read an entire book in one sitting. Possibly two sittings. I've read five hundred page novels in one night because I keep telling myself, oh, I'll just read one more chapter and then I'll stop. The problem, I keep flipping ahead. I would see how short it was and say, oh, I can do that much more. And so on and so forth. So those eight pages here or fourteen pages don't seem as daunting as forty or fifty page chapters. So my problem with THE PRINCE? It took me five days to read it. I never felt capable of reading more than one chapter at a time. It was very frustrating. I would like the story. Like the characters. But simply could not commit to reading THAT many more pages. It's very discouraging for me to NOT be able to read a fiction book in one or two sittings. I'm a fast reader.

Now that I've gotten all the negativity out, let me just say how much I really did enjoy this story. It is the story of King Saul, Jonathan, and David. Told from Jonathan's perspective. It begins with the missing donkeys and Samuel's anointing of Saul...and it concludes with the death of King Saul and his sons. I have always loved 1 Samuel. Always loved the history books in general. And the life of David has always been my favorite and my best. So I really enjoyed reading this fictional take on their friendship. I loved the godliness of Jonathan. I loved his devotion to his friend. I loved his grief over his father's horrible reign. I loved it all. So I do recommend that others read this book. It's a great story.