The Gate


Title: The Gate
Author: Dann A. Stouten
Publisher: Revell
Published: April 1, 2013
Pages: 256


Schuyler Hunt finds himself looking for something to do when a planned getaway with his wife turns into a shopping trip for the girls. An ad for a vacation cottage catches his eye and he sets off in search of a much-needed break. He expects a nice little vacations cottage that he could imagine him and his grand kids loving. What he gets once he arrives is completely different than anything his mind could’ve thought of.

In that cottage he goes through a painful and bittersweet journey that could change his life forever. His weekend is completely different than his wife and daughters’ but way more important. He goes back and remember happy, sad, and angering memories that have held him back and kept him from God’s plan in his life.

Schuyler must make the choice to stay in a strange place with strange people and delve into a painful past that he just wants to forget. But with a collection of familiar guests and the proprietor, who welcome with food, rest, and conversation, he might just decide to stay and find out what can really happen when you find a little slice of heaven.

Will Schuyler’s encounter in the cottage alter his life or will he choose to stay on the same path? Will others believe him when he tells them what happened or will they think he dreamed it or, worse, went crazy? Is this little cottage really a slice of heaven or just a figment of his imagination? Is it possible for us to be visited in a cottage by those in heaven?

This is another one if those “God visited me in a cabin” books. And when I say visited I mean physically came and talked to this character. It’s very similar to Wm. Paul Young’s The Shack and it’s not really my cup of tea. I feel like it’s unrealistic and isn’t something I would like to assume happens. I’m not saying it can’t I’m just saying that I don’t want to assume that things like that happen when they might not.

The setting is a cabin somewhere in the woods. And the characters stray from this man’s living wife to his dead mother, uncle, aunt, grandmother, etc. All of the characters show up to give him a key piece of advice that he should take to heart and dinner. They all drove an identifying car, wore nice clothes, and looked thirty to forty years old. The whole premise of this novel seems a bit far fetched but especially the fact that his dead relatives visited him.

The writing style of this book was a mixture of flash-backs, first person, and sermon style. It was kind of annoying for the narrative to switch from Sky to a teaching about life. I think it would’ve been better if it had been one or the other. I’m sure that there is someone who can benefit from this book but the switching of perspective drove me too crazy to really soak in much of the actual teaching.

The storyline of this book is slow and in general is, at least for me, a borderline boring book. It progressed slowly and though you know this book’s purpose is to change Sky’s perspective and possibly yours, I spent the majority of the book waiting for it to be over. I think I’m too young for this book, but it just wasn’t what I’m looking for and I don’t care for the cabin visit stories.

This is this author’s first book and he showed his love of cars and his pastor career in every page. Though some people will be helped and love this boo,k it didn’t do it for me and I don’t really plan on reading more of this author’s work. Depending on topic, you might see more by him on this site, but odds are, you won’t. I definitely don’t recommend this one to younger readers and I caution readers to read at their own risk.

Overall, I didn’t like this book at all. Maybe I’m too young for the book, maybe it’s just not meant for me. U recommend this one to older readers or for people who enjoyed The Shack. I don’t this novel is good for younger readers at all and should be kept for adults only. I give this book a two out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*