Top critical review
Definately NOT another Father Elijah
on 20 May 1999
I was reading this book alongside O'Brien's _A Landscape with Dragons_. Doing so might have been a mistake, as the "secret formula" of his storywriting stood out too obviously and awkwardly to me in _Strangers and Sojourners_, making it quite tedious. Or maybe it was just the plain old fact that it was slow! I wonder what happened to the literary device of "showing" rather than "telling" that the author used so masterfully in _Elijah_?
Well, maybe with these three "Delaney" (Children of the Last Days) epics out of his system, O'Brien can get back to writing enjoyable novels.
(By the way, although it is not a novel, his _Landscape with Dragons_ is superbly insightful, and subtly transmits the same genuine, deep mystical spirituality of its author, as did _Elijah_. I recommend THAT one to any parent, teacher or pastor.)
It's fun to wonder what genre O'Brien will decide to use in his next novel. Perhaps an historical novel, with an actual Saint or two as its main characters? I, for one, would love to see more of the Elijah type character. Whatever he decides, I surely hope that he keeps that same sense of mystery and Providential foreshadowing that makes Elijah such an enjoyable, (and spiritually inspiring) read and re-read.