Rooms by James L. Rubart (B&H Publishing Group ISBN 978-0-8054-4888-7) chronicles the extraordinary redemptive tale of Michah Taylor, a Seattle software millionaire who’s given a home by his deceased great-uncle. The home, which happens to be at the location of Micah’s greatest childhood trauma, is far more than it appears. The lure of the mysterious house serves as the catalyst that reconciles him with God.
Rubart’s novel is another in the burgeoning Christian genre of ‘better living through supernatural architecture’. But unlike The Shack, Rubart’s novel lacks impact. William Young’s novel punches you in the stomach, gives you enough time to regain your breath, then punches you again. Rooms pokes along so slowly that the reader is always ahead of the story. It spends too much time describing Pacific Northwest beach scenes and not enough leading the reader. It’s a two hundred page novel crammed into 375.
That being said, Rooms does offer the reader something worth reading. It contains spiritual insights not common in many Christian novels. Rubart understands the unyielding conflict between the call of God and the hollow temptations of the world. Although it takes far too long to tell it, Rooms has a lot to say.
This is James Rubart’s first novel. It’s an ambitious, profound and meandering tome. It’s worth the read, but only if you have a lot of time and undivided attention.