On The Edge Of The Chasm by Amy Joy was a new experience for me as a reviewer.
First, the disclaimer: I know Amy Joy, we attend the same church. I can't say that I know her well or that we are "close friends" but we do know each other. Also "Amy Joy" is her first name. Since I didn't ask for permission to post her last name, and her by-line says only Amy Joy, that is the name I will use here.
When I found out she was going to publish her book (actually a series of books) I offered to proofread it. I didn't set out to read On The Edge Of The Chasm with the intent of reviewing. After a very short time I though to myself: "This is a really good book".
Followers of my reviews know I don't often review non-fiction works. It's just not my thing. But Amy Joy's writing style is so easy to get caught up in I didn't have my usual reaction to non-fiction.
On to the book. On The Edge Of The Chasm is to me an attempt to build a bridge between science and religion. I say "to me" because I have not discussed such things with the author. So all such pronouncements as to genre, theme or message, are mine and mine alone. Presented mostly as a memoir, Amy Joy does a beautiful job of moving from instructive information to entertaining storytelling.
The story blends her academic career in the hard sciences of geology, paleontology, mathematics and history with her Christian understanding and faith. The most refreshing aspect of her writing is that she goes to some effort to assure the reader that she is not presenting herself as the final authority in this sometimes contentious debate. She does not attack anyone's belief. She does offer questions and viewpoints which encourage the reader to consider what they believe.
Amy Joy gives us a peek into her personal history, at times heartbreaking, while at others funny and heartwarming. Another theme of the book speaks strongly to me; deal with what is going on rather than crying over what should be.
Although On The Edge Of The Chasm does fit into the "Christian" genre, it also fits into "Science" "Coming of Age" "Memoirs", and a smooth blend it is. Were I not a Christian reading this book, I don't think I would view it as a propaganda piece, the authors Christianity is just another piece of the story. It stays firmly in the realm of "this is how it is".
On The Edge Of The Chasm is the first in a series of five books (I really hope she lets me read the rest), and is due for release in November of this year. I asked Amy Joy's permission to post my review here because that was not the original purpose in reading the book (she said okay).
I recommend On The Edge Of The Chasm by Amy Joy, for those willing to examine how science and religion can not only coexist but actually enhance each other. Enjoy!