Sunday, June 26, 2016

Divine Collision

Gash, Jim. Read by Brandon Batchelar. Divine Collision: An African Boy, An American Lawyer, and  Their Remarkable Battle for Freedom. Oasis Audio. 2016. Audiobook.

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Summary (from Oasis Audio, publisher)
"Jim Gash’s comfortable life as a Los Angeles lawyer and law professor nearly ensured that he and Henry, a Ugandan boy languishing in prison for two murders he didn’t commit, would never meet. Henry was losing hope and prayed for a sign from God. Halfway around the world, Jim listened to best-selling author of Love Does, Bob Goff, encourage lawyers to use their legal training to help imprisoned children in Africa. Jim felt an irresistible urge to respond to this call. Little did Henry know, his prayer had been answered.
Divine Collision tells the first hand, true story of how Jim and Henry, separated not only by an ocean and thousands of miles, but also differing cultures and life experiences, inspired justice reform for an entire country. Divine Collision is a fast-paced thriller and will keep you listening, wanting to know what happens next for Henry and Jim."

My Thoughts
This is another dual narrator story, but for this audiobook, it seems there truly are two different readers (even though I can only find the one name listed as reader). Jim Gash begins his story, and then Henry, with a Ugandan accent, inserts his. The book flips back and forth. At first, this bothered me. Why was this happening?, but as I got into the story, it was perfect. Jim would stop and then Henry would pick up. I smiled in several parts as I enjoyed the humor. I also felt my blood pressure rise with both anticipation & frustration of what was going to happen next, especially to Henry.

I didn't realize how fresh this story was--literally some of written last year.

I was glad that SYNC included a faith-based story. I know I listened to one earlier this summer that dealt a little with faith, but this story was more direct about having a relationship with God and how prayer truly can make a difference in a situation (or how prayer can bring peace to an uncertain situation). I could hear both Jim and Henry's faith.

Some of the story seemed a little too "feel good" for me, but I did enjoy listening and bringing my attention to a cause that I didn't know much about before this story. I also found myself looking at the Country reports database to learn more about Uganda.

Starfish story--I liked the parallel of this story and think that American often think of ourselves as the "savior" of the world--that we can swoop in, fix everything, and then go back to our regular lives. I was glad to hear what Jim had to say towards the end of the book about his starfish and Henry.

The story ended as I hoped, but I didn't know until the epilogue. With the absurdity of the country's laws, I wasn't sure until the proclamation was read.

Also, after the content of the book, there is a short biography of Jim Gash. It is funny how God uses us, (or a "twin family") even when the way is not what we expect.  In 2010, Gash traveled to Uganda thinking it would be a quick trip, and he'd help a few people. After meeting Henry, his life was flipped. Gash visited Uganda numerous more times and is slated to become a Ugandan citizen this year.

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