Monday, September 29, 2014

The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

20579281The Wonder of All Things by bestselling author Jason Mott is simply irresistible. It is about a thirteen-year-old girl, Ava, who is also the daughter of the town’s sheriff, who possesses supernatural healing powers which came to light after a horrifying air show in the small town of Stone Temple in North Carolina. The excited townsfolk had gathered in large number to see a local man who had become a pilot perform in an air show for his hometown. But the excitement soon turned into a nightmare when the plane crashed into the crowd of spectators. Lying under the rubble, Ava realized that her best friend, Wash, is injured and when she touches him he is instantly healed.

When the news spread about the healing powers of Ava, people thronged the small town. Some out of necessity, either seeking healing for themselves or for loved ones but the vast majority of visitors came out of curiosity. People were opinionated about the whole thing. Ava’s family had to deal with the situation in the best possible way, and it was also beginning to take its toll on Ava. What was not immediately apparent was the health and emotional risks involved every time Ava healed someone. It becomes gradually clear that it saps every ounce of her energy and she becomes weaker, emotionally and physically.

As the story progresses, author Jason Mott subtly painted a portrait of human nature and what drives each individual. Ava’s father Macon, step-mother Carmen, the Reverend Isaiah Brown and the people who come to her for healing have their own motives. While Macon is deeply concerned about Ava’s own well-being, the same cannot be said of Carmen, Isaiah Brown or the throng of people who visited her. And there are others who are badly in need of help but choose not to because they are not motivated by “self.” Jason Mott brings out the best in both Ava and Carmen, enabling them to cope with the situation in the best possible way, and in the process bridging the chasm that kept them separated for so long.

Author Jason Mott is a gifted storyteller and this superbly written and well-crafted story will make you think things you’ve never thought before. The Wonder of All Things is an exploration of one of life’s most intricate issues – how far we would allow ourselves to be used for the good of others, however self-motivated some cases may be. The book is an examination of the motives that drive each individual, and sadly in the vast majority of instances it is driven by “self.” But sometimes, good is not always good, as in the case of Ava. How are we to discern the thin line that separates serving others and being accountable to own self?  Are we not equally responsible for own good as much as we are for the good of others? The Wonder of All Things is a clear aide memoire of the extraordinary gifts life has bestowed on each individual and how we are to celebrate it.

Let me leave you with these words: "There is always comfort in pretending that change has not happened in life, even when we know full well that nothing will ever again be the way it was."

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