Book Review: Rooms by James L. Rubart

Book review by Donna Totey

The cover of Rooms touts that this book is “Part The Screwtape Letters and part The Shack.”  That’s a perfect description of this great allegory.  But it’s so much more than that.

Rooms begins with Micah Taylor finding out that his late great-uncle has given him a house in Cannon Beach, Oregon…one that was recently built just for Micah.  The catch? Micah has never met his great-uncle.

Micah decides to leave his multi-million dollar company and his girlfriend in Seattle to visit the house.  He soon discovers that this is no ordinary house.  In the huge house are many rooms, each apparently serving a different purpose.  Some rooms even appear where none were there before.  His great-uncle also leaves behind a stack of letters, written to Micah, which are to help him on his journey. The letters are filled with advice, wisdom about God and Bible verses.

In town, Micah meets Rick, the owner of the local garage, and they strike up an instant friendship.  Rick talks to Micah about God and seems to have some knowledge of the house.  Micah finds himself drawn to the house and starts to spend a lot more time there and a lot less time in Seattle.  His two lives become very separate from each other.

As Micah explores the house, he starts to discover things about himself and is forced to confront past hurts.  With each experience, he draws closer and closer to God.  And his life in Seattle, which is filled with all the world has to offer, figuratively and literally, starts to slip away.  Micah must then chose between his old life and his new life.

In one of the rooms, a mysterious voice appears that says he and Micah are the same.  Micah visits that room frequently, receiving advice that is, at times, contrary to the advice from his uncle and Rick.

When reading Rooms, one can’t help but compare Micah’s rooms with all the “rooms” in each of our lives.  As the author states, this book is about freedom.  Each room brings Micah a little more freedom as he confronts some things and lets other things go.  This is the freedom that we, as Christians, experience in some way when we choose God.  But it also confronts the areas of our lives in which we aren’t free…those “rooms” that we haven’t yet entered, for whatever reason.

While Micah is working through his hurts and struggles, the reader has the opportunity to look inside his own heart and see which “rooms” need to be explored.  As Micah experiences true freedom in God, one longs for that total freedom as well.  In one way or another, there’s an opportunity for the reader to relate to Micah’s situation.

In the back of the book are some discussion questions to help the reader get the most out of the book.  The questions are written so that they can be used in a group or alone.  As I read the questions, I felt that the lessons of the book became more solidified in my mind. 

Rooms is an amazing book in which Christians, new and old alike, can find the path to greater freedom in Christ and can experience more of His love and the joy one has in following Him.  This is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you’ve read the last page.

…And just footnote for us Northwesterners, it’s fun to read about all the familiar places, both in Seattle and in Cannon Beach.  The author has personal knowledge of these locations, being a Northwesterner himself.

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One Response to “Book Review: Rooms by James L. Rubart”

  1. Mr. Cheshier Says:

    A ripping good yarn! I enjoyed Jim’s writing about the area where so many of us live, since he really made it come alive as he described Cannon Beach and Seattle. I read the entire book in one sitting, since it was so fascinating!

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