The Rapture of Canaan

The Rapture of Canaan

by

a-the-best, , coming-of-age, favorites, united-states, oprahsbookclublist, november-book-count, 2015, Fiction, Religion, Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Historical, Young Adult, Adult, Novels, Literature, Spirituality

Oprah Book Club® Selection, April 1997: Members of the Church of Fire and Brimstone and God's Almighty Baptizing Wind spend their days and nights serving the Lord and waiting for the Rapture--that moment just before the Second Coming of Christ when the saved will be lifted bodily to heaven and the damned will be left behind to face the thousand years of tribulation on earth. The tribulation, according to Grandpa Herman, founder of Fire and Brimstone, will be an ugly time: "He said that we'd run out of food. That big bugs would chase us around and sting us with their tails . . . He said we'd turn on the faucet in the bathroom and find only blood running out . . . He said evil multitudes would come unto us and cut off our limbs, and that we wouldn't die . . . And then he'd say, 'But you don't have to be left behind. You can go straight to Heaven with all of God's special children if you'll only open your hearts to Jesus . . .'"

Such talk of damnation weighs heavy on the mind of Ninah Huff, the 15-year-old narrator of Sheri Reynolds's second novel, The Rapture of Canaan. To distract her from sinful thoughts about her prayer partner James, Ninah puts pecan shells in her shoes and nettles in her bed. But concentrating on the Passion of Jesus cannot, in the end, deter Ninah and James from their passion for each other, and the consequences prove both tragic and transforming for the entire community.

The Rapture of Canaan is a book about miracles, and in writing it, Reynolds has performed something of a miracle herself. Although the church's beliefs and practices may seem extreme (sleeping in an open grave, mortifying the flesh with barbed wire), its members are complex and profoundly sympathetic as they wrestle with the contradictions of Fire and Brimstone's theology, the temptations of the outside world, and the frailties of the human heart.

Title:The Rapture of Canaan
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780425162446
Format Type:

    The Rapture of Canaan Reviews

  • Sammy

    First off, let me start by saying that this is not a religious book, it can be viewed that way if you want to, but in case you're one of those people that are scared off by religious books, this isn't...

  • Annet

    Intriguing story.Note June 2017: I remember this really is an intriguing story, have to reread....

  • Robert Pajer

    Sheri Reynolds paints a vivid picture of "Bible Belt Cultism," as seen through the eyes of a teen-age girl named, Ninah. The Church of Fire and Brimstone and God's Almighty Baptizing Wind is pastored ...

  • Annie

    I just finished reading this book for the second time. I think I loved it more than the first. The only books I tend to give 5 stars to are books that make me want to reinvent my life when they are ov...

  • Lowed

    A book of fanatical religious zealousness with abuses, torture, and mind control. Well, this can be viewed as that, or this is a story of how an innocent girl tried to emotionally survive in this kind...

  • Brian Stump

    the book had a really interesting story but ended with a bland ending. I was hoping the end would have been as surprising as the rest of the book....

  • Karen

    SPOILERS:This wasn't a book I wanted to savor, but along with some weaknesses, it definitely had its moments. There's a matter-of-fact line I found chilling, about women often dying in childbirth due ...

  • Tracy Sherman

    I started this book with just one expectation, that I wasn't going to like it. I just finished a coming of age story set in the south that started off so promising and ended cliché and disappointing....

  • John Berney

    Seems like it will either deeply offend me, or be too full of irony to take seriouslyThis is too weird to willingly continue, and Oprah has bad taste.had to finish it, but did not want to. ode to the ...

  • Trudy

    The lives of the members of The Fire And Brimstone And God’s Almighty Wind Church. I enjoyed this book, however the ending left me wanting more. ...