Highland Books, 2010, Pbk., ISBN 9781897913864
This book is about a jaded, widowed parish minister getting the blues and deciding to get himself a sabbatical which proves to be quite a journey. A journey that is actual, musical and spiritual and results in a complete change of lifestyle for him.
The Rev. Ken Birley was in the habit of joining a local rock band once a week for ‘jam’ sessions. Then it was suggested they go on tour as support group for a U2 tribute band with the addition of an attractive female singer. This resulted in him re-visiting various cultural influences including U2, The Matrix, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Dr. Who and having a variety of new encounters which made him think seriously about the direction his life was taking. His father also died towards the end of the tour giving him more pause for reflection.
I found the book entertaining and well written and the Rev. Birley surprisingly easy to relate to. I became quite caught up in wondering how things would work out for him. I was pleased that he re-married, gave up the parish ministry in favour of less formal gatherings in a pub and became an arts teacher in an inner city school and “never felt so alive, so free and so at home”.
Contributed by: Anne MacRitchie, BSc, who serves as CLIS Scottish Regional Representative