There was little to make Corinthia Falls appealing to me at a first glance. The book opened with scenes of two warring factions in a small church in Corinthia Falls and a bunch of the town’s teenagers, their ruminations, and pranks. While they were certainly funny, I was afraid that this would become one of those preachy reads on saving souls and superiority of their religion over any other. I could not have been more wrong. Sure, there was plenty of soul saving, but none of it ever became preachy or even remotely boring. I found myself totally engrossed in the little town of Corinthia Falls and the stories of its dwellers, particularly the newcomer, traveling evangelist Pavlos Lincoln Armstrong. As colorful as his name, and truly multi-layered, he became a catalyst for a major change in the formerly rather sleepy congregation. Helped along by his bear-like canine companion Silas, as well as a posse of the town’s teenagers, Colonel Armstrong managed to bring together the “Standers” and the “Setters,” as well as even the former observers.
I’ve truly enjoyed the story and the wonderfully quirky characters in it, particularly the teen-age cast. The narrative had a nostalgic, nearly dreamlike feel to it, and I found myself looking forward to each new chapter and each new victory that Colonel and his helpers managed to achieve. Timber, TJ, Anthony the Ant, the Sam’s boys – what a wonderful cast of young men to help change the dysfunctional course the church found itself on. And let’s not forget Becky and the tender love story developing between her and one of the main characters before the reader’s eyes – what a treat! There was so much to enjoy in the first part of the story that I actually wished the story would have ended there.
While I understand the rationale about the “30 years later” second part of the story, and the showing of how goodness will bring positive results in the end, part of me wished that the author would have left that part unsaid. It felt slightly rushed, slightly forced and not completely convincing. I guess that at times I would prefer to keep wondering how a certain character – or characters – fared later in life, and I found this second part of the story less heartfelt and less persuasive than the first one.
I would recommend Corinthia Falls to any lover of good fiction, particularly those readers who enjoy Christian and inspirational books. Corinthia Falls is a place they will enjoy getting to know.