Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
Ezekiel’s Shadow, the first novel by David Ryan Long, an acquisitions editor at Christian books publisher Bethany House, won the 2001 Christy Award for best first novel. The book tells the story of Ian Merchant, a famous horror novelist who is in many respects reminiscent of popular writer Stephen King. Ian lives with his wife, Rebecca, in the small, touristy town of Titansburg, Connecticut. Although they have lived in the town for a while, they have established relatively few local connections. Ian’s books have been on the best-seller list for several years, but Ian finds that he has writer’s block and is unable to continue writing. At the core of his writer’s block is his conversion to Christianity on a camping trip three months earlier. Rebecca has her own writing problems: She is trying to complete her master’s thesis in history but has lost interest in her idea about the American Civil War.
As the novel progresses, the reader slowly learns that Ian had reached a sort of turning point in both his spiritual and his creative life several months earlier. After he wrote a particularly dark and horrific novel, he began to feel that life held no meaning for him. He found a particularly haunting black-and-white photograph of a skeletal rib cage partly covered by shifting desert sands, and while investigating the photograph, he met the photographer, Howard Kepler. During a long camping trip, with Howard’s help, Ian sought and accepted...
(The entire section is 801 words.)
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