Monday, January 18, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Frontier Bishop

Week 3: A book by or about a missionary

Frontier Bishop: Simon Gabriel Brute
by: Riley Hughes 

Historical Fiction, Not a Biography

As I'm reading this book, I start asking myself questions like "how do we know what his mother thought?" "Did Simon write this down for us to know this?" "How do we know this conversation took place?" Some of the material I had no reason to doubt, but some of it left me wondering. It isn't until the last paragraph of the book that the author informs us that this is a work of fiction based upon historical fact.

That is something that ought to be disclosed at the beginning of a work as it changes expectations. I expected a biography of the "Frontier Bishop" written for children, not a loosely accurate account of his life written for children.

The book was still interesting, as I assume the key points are factual. And I always enjoying seeing how events intersect worldwide, which is something this book does a good job of incorporating as Simon lives in various places.

With the title of Frontier Bishop I expected the majority of his life to have taken place on the frontier, and the book to focus primarily on that as a result. This is not the case. It is not till nearing the end of Simon's life that he is a "Frontier Bishop" and by that point you're almost done with the book. 

This book was a good and informative read, it just didn't meet a few expectations I had going into it.

3 stars.

This review appears as a part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the challenge, click here.

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