The Truth Seekers
R. Glenn Brown
Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (5/14)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Truth Seekers’ by R. Glenn Brown on Blogcritics.
The first part of “The Truth Seekers” by R. Glenn Brown depicts a family’s fight for freedom of religion in the USSR. In a time where religion was not permitted to be practiced, Viktor is born and his parents plead with the midwife to keep his birth a secret so that their son would not have to be put into public school. The KGB later discovers the birth of Viktor and sets out to search for him.
The later part of the book follows Viktor in America, after escaping capture from the KGB. Viktor becomes a pastor and soon finds he is conflicted in his belief system. Viktor becomes friends with another pastor who shares the same passion for scripture. Although they find their doctrine differs from the other, they both agree to study the other’s beliefs and follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads them.
I initially thought that I would be taking an opportunity to learn about a religion or belief that I do not practice myself. I always start religious books with an open mind; perhaps I might learn something new or discover another view of something I never considered. I was immediately overwhelmed with the “Introductory Material” at the beginning of the book and all of the characters that I would encounter throughout.
Most of the book takes place in Russia between the time frame of 1970-1980 and Viktor’s family finding their faith. Personally, I thought the dialog was over the top and very extreme, with everyday conversation revolving around loving God and having faith, almost to the point where I couldn’t tell where the narrator went or what was the original point.
Pushing through the background of Viktor’s family was the hardest part for me. Apart from the overzealous religious dialog, I feel that the layout of the book would have been better suited as Viktor’s family history and fight with flashbacks or memories as opposed to dividing the book with so much content. At times, the simplest of conversation was overbearing with scripture and non-stop profession of [whomever was talking] faith and witnessing to another. I can respect that some readers will love this part of Brown’s writing style, while others may find it preachy and less believable. I personally do not know any one person who speaks that way constantly in conversation.
Overall, Viktor’s family suffered greatly throughout their struggle to gain religious freedom. Viktor, in turn, was able to make something positive of his life by seeking his own truth and remaining faithful. The moral takeaway for me was seeking your own truth and being faithful to yourself, no matter who tries to take away your right to love the God of your choice. Readers who enjoy historical religious fiction may enjoy “The Truth Seekers” by R. Glenn Brown.