Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lost Mission by Athol Dickson - REVIEWED

“Lupe, do you have faith in our Lord?”

“Yes, Padre. I do.”

“Then come.”

And thus commanded, Lupe bowed her head and entered.” (p. 30)

Athol Dickson’s latest novel, Lost Mission, weaves back and forth between present day California and an eighteenth century Franciscan mission in Mexico. The scenes seem disconnected at first, yet as the story continues the behaviors of one place in history seems not so very different from what is taking place in modern times. Lost Mission is an exploration of what truly defines spiritual wealth. It is an exploration of man’s desire for peace and power and the evil that slips into his heart as he pursues something that seems to be for the good of all mankind. Cloaked in a surreal mist of familiarity, the reader passes from one story to another just as the smoke from the fires of days gone by pass amid the currents of the wind.

Lupe is a woman who feels compelled to leave her home in Mexico and witness to the lost, wealthy white people who inhabit the state of California. She carries in her arms an ancient relic from another time that represents the story of a Franciscan monk who also followed the Lord in an effort to reach others for the Savior. As Lupe’s story develops, the reader is given a glimpse back in time and allowed to follow the eighteenth century story of Fray Alejandro – from whose hands the relic has passed over time to the modern Lupe’s story. There are times when the stories seem to meld together, and perhaps they really do in part, because the depravity of man and the desire for a human/Christian utopia is as old as mankind. The desire to reach these depraved men and women for the Lord is also an ancient calling, and the two desires war one with another throughout the pages of this story.

Athol Dickson has a very unique voice when he writes. No matter what work I’ve read from his pen, I am never certain just where the story will lead. When I finally reach the end of the story, I find myself shaking my head in wonder at how covertly I was led to arrive at the moment of truth. Athol Dickson’s Lost Mission is no exception, and while I admit to being a bit confused in the beginning, once I recognized the established pattern, I was drawn in and held until the end of the story.

Lost Mission is set primarily among Catholic worshippers, and that is a bit foreign to me. Other than the “seeking for signs” mentality of some of the characters, I felt like the spiritual truth in the story was clearly stated. Dickson tends to lean a bit toward the mystic element sometimes, and he weaves this within the story in a very unique way without distracting from the story itself. Lost Mission is unlike anything else I’ve read this year, but it is uniquely Athol Dickson’s style, and a very interesting read. Purchase your copy today!


Athol Dickson is an award-winning author of several novels. His Christy Award-winning novel River Rising was name one of the "Top Ten Christian Novel of 2006" by Booklist magazine. He lives in California with his wife. Find out more about Athol and his books by visiting his website.

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