Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-01-20
- Reviewer: Staff
The latest from Thurston (Maverick Mark) is a textured, wise devotional on nine simple words: “O taste and see how good the Lord is” (Psalm 34:8). Former seminary professor, now poet-hermit-Presbyterian pastor living in the hills near Wheeling, W.V., Thurston uses one verse to unlock the breadth of biblical literature, from Genesis to St. Paul, with a scholarly, engaging, compassionate perspective. “Nothing human is foreign to the Psalms,” she writes, encouraging readers to “come as they are” to the unvarnished emotion in this ancient hymn. With this provocation, the anchorite of Appalachia sets up a symphonic resonance that lifts readers to places only an artistic, integrative mind like Thurston’s can go, such as holding in harmony “the Lord is” with the Islamic prayer “there is no god but God.” Drawing on richly diverse sources (J.I. Packer, Mary Daly, Denise Levertov, Dorothee Soelle, R. Vaughn Williams, and Alister McGrath), Thurston’s sure, skilled hand uses Psalm 34:8 to let course a river of life through the devastated landscape of the modern soul. (Feb.)