An Arduous Path to Love
by John Kupitz
In his debut novel, Eugene Havens transports readers to the fast-paced, cutthroat advertising industry of New York City. It’s a setting Havens uses to explore complex emotions brought out by urban living, where his bitter, disillusioned protagonist is led down an oft-punishing path toward love and compassion. Sometimes gritty, and other times charming, Marble on a Table keeps the reader guessing in the best possible way. (Minor spoilers to follow.)
Havens accomplishes something few seasoned authors would even attempt. He ties religion into the narrative. Somehow, Havens pulls it off without preaching to the reader. At times, an irreligious person may identify with pointed jabs directed at organized religion. At other times, the religious person will be tempted to shout an “Amen” over the moral fortitude of Rasmus’s love interest, Alli.
Their inconsistencies are utterly familiar to the person who tries to take the high road
A psychological conflict emerges between the pair when the out-of-town Christian girl shows herself to be as deeply flawed as the jaded New Yorker. Their inconsistencies are utterly familiar to the person who tries to take the high road in a world that celebrates (and rewards) the low.
Marble on a Table is a fresh take on a classic human struggle. I was simultaneously enthralled by Rasmus’s predicament and compelled by Alli’s mysterious backstory. If you’re an avid reader of Christian books, this one isn’t like others you’ve read. Havens takes ambitious risks with this work, and it pays off.
… a modern book that asks honest questions
I would recommend Marble on a Table to anyone who likes to be challenged by a good story. Havens manages to avoid pandering to his audience, both Christian and nonreligious. If you’re on the lookout for a modern book that asks honest questions, look no further. No matter who you are, we all take part in the struggle to do what is right.