Carpenter's Son Publishing
August 2011 / ISBN: 0983557136
Western / Christian
by Willie Elliott
Ben Rolphe has introduced what may be a new genre
to literature: religious western. But after reading the novel, readers
may find that it more religious than western.
God's messenger, Angelo, asks Dan Branson to fly
to South America to assist a Christian cattle rancher who is being
threatened by an international cartel.
The reader may ask why so much time is spent on
the family (which rivals the characters on Father Knows Best for
being nearly perfect). It seems Rolphe wants to paint a picture
of what a family should look like. Although not highly realistic,
it is a welcome departure from the depiction of a family in much
of contemporary literature.
In fact, Dan doesn't do much in aiding the ranchers
in South America except to seek the guidance of God in solving the
problems. The book is loaded with convenient coincidences. For example
Dan gets a free ride to and from South America. One may balk at
too many of these, but then might ask the question: isn't the Bible
full of such coincidences?
After the climax
of the novel, the liberation of the ranchers in South America, the
novel goes on much too long for a standard novel, but Rolphe still
teaches on the making and sustaining of a religious family. Despite
the departure from the norms of the standard novel, the book is
a delight to read and depicts a God-loving family.