Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book Review: Fireproof Novelization by Eric Wilson

Book Review
Having seen and enjoyed the movie Fireproof when it came out last year, and having recently read Eric Wilson's Field of Blood, I was anxious to read the novelization (by Eric Wilson) of the movie. Wilson's treatment of Fireproof was true to the movie, with a few minor exceptions.

As many authors might be inclined to make the story their own by virtually rewriting it (see The Black Hole, if you need an example), Wilson did a wonderful job of staying true to the movie's story line, while adding a couple of minor scenes and characters that served well to enhance the original. The Fireproof movie has been called the best inspirational movie of the year, and Wilson did well to carry that accolade over to the written version of the story.

Everyone who has ever spent more than a few days married knows that it isn't all peaches and creme. Marriage takes work -- sometimes lots of hard work -- and determination if it's going to last. Disagreements, money, and the chaos of managing a home around a career or two can prove to be quite taxing on even the strongest marriage. The characters in Fireproof know just how hard it can be to see eye to eye.

Caleb Holt is a Fire Captain, putting his life on the line daily for complete strangers. Working long shifts that sometimes keep him from seeing his wife for days, Caleb seeks other avenues for fulfillment of his desires: saving for a huge new boat, and internet pornography.

Catherine Holt, the daughter of a retired Fire Captain and Caleb's wife, as well as head of Public Relations for the local hospital, has learned that her prince charming isn't so charming as she always dreamed. Feeling unappreciated and unloved, she shifts focus to her career and the flattery she receives from a young new doctor at the hospital.

John Holt, Caleb's concerned father, hasn't been without his own marital challenges -- but has managed to pull through them and come out stronger on the other side. When John hears of the difficulties -- including talk about divorce -- that Caleb and Catherine are struggling with, he decides that he can't hold his tongue.

Fearing that his son might lose his wife, and concerned that there might be much more missing in Caleb's life, John rushes off the greatest care package he can: The Love Dare. Challenging Caleb to follow the instructions in the brown leather journal for forty days, John puts his trust in his son and his God that Caleb's marriage will survive.

Wilson and the Fireproof creators take us on a journey that many readers may have seen in their own lives -- the journey to rebuild a fragile marriage, to rekindle a dying love. As Caleb starts half-heartedly into The Love Dare, he sees his efforts repaid in kind. Catherine -- at first angry with Caleb -- grows quickly suspicious of the motive behind Caleb's sudden attention, rebuffing his feeble attempts to earn her favor.

The Love Dare isn't some magical cure-all drug for what ails your marriage. But then Fireproof isn't really about The Love Dare. It's about the Love that One Man dared to have for us two-thousand years ago -- such a Love that He gave His life for us. It's about how accepting and embracing that Love -- and sharing it with others -- will change our lives. It's about how that Love -- the Greatest Love of All -- can teach us how to really love those around us.

There is something to be learned by everyone between the covers of Fireproof. The question is, will you open the book?

I dare you!

Your comments?


1 comment:

Eric Wilson said...

Joe, thanks for that review. You really captured the essence of the story, as well as my attempt to capture and enhance what was presented onscreen. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to the book.

Eric W.

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