I: John Irving - A Prayer for Owen Meany
I don't often order books online as I like to flick through them before doing so, but I needed a book for 'I' pretty quickly, so found Irving on Fantastic Fiction, and thought I'd take the plunge. Well...when it arrived I thought it had slightly backfired...this book is 720 pages long! It had better be good!
Owen Meany is a small boy/adult (he doesn't grow!), with enough faith in God for someone 3 times his size. He believes that God has a plan for him, and has dreams which show him a future he wouldn't have chosen for himself. However, his unfaltering faith in God inspires him to follow a path in life which he believes will ultimately lead him to fulfilling God's plan for him. Unfortunately, life doesn't make this easy for him. A rogue baseball he hits throws the lives of him and his best friend into mourning...but his faith continues to stand strong. Life wasn't easy, living in America when boys his age were being conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War. It caused friendships to wobble and relationships to crack. This gave the story a very multi-layered effect.
I read a lot of this book, assuming it was building up to something which makes it worth reading the full 720 pages. I was engaged, but only on the proviso that all these intricate lines of story would somehow cleverly intertwine at the end. (As I have said many times, I am a sucker for a good ending!) I am glad to say that I was not disappointed! This book has one of the most exquisite endings of any I have read in a long time, and I am so glad I stuck with it until the end! It was unexpected, intelligent and thoroughly satisfying!