I don’t write fiction, though I have always loved a good story. In fact, some books are gathering dust on my review shelf because of my insistence that there are times in my life when I MUST have a novel in hand (this summer is one of those times).

I heard about Toward the Gleam on a recent episode of In Between Sundays, where the author spoke about his years of research and careful crafting of the novel. He was greatly inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

It’s a book I won’t lend lightly, because it was impeccably written. Calling it science fiction or even fantasy (I’ve heard it categorized as both) feels misleading to me (probably because I have a misconception about what’s included in those genres), though it definitely has elements of both.

During the week I was reading it, I found myself rocking the baby longer so that I could keep reading and trying to fit reading time into every odd moment I could. I couldn’t see how the book would resolve and I was unable to predict what would happen, which was delightful and maddening. I think my brain might still be whirling a little from it, and I have no doubt that this will be among the books that I reread in the next few years, because I’m sure there’s a lot I missed as I tried to get to the end.

You can learn more about the plot and elements within it at the book’s website (I don’t want to accidentally spoil it!). It has some heavy endorsements, which intrigued me before I picked it up to read, but after losing myself to it, I can say that they’re all well-earned.

On a scale of 1-10, this gets an 11 from me. Not only highly recommended, but sure to be a great gift for any fiction reader on your list.

Order Toward the Gleam and support CatholicMom.com with your purchase

Copyright 2011 Sarah Reinhard