It’s a book about you. At least, that’s the author’s hope. He explores his own memory bank of life as a Christian, and hopes his autobiographical account will give space for you to reflect when God seemed near or absent.

The beautifully crafted journey includes times when God seemed both especially close and especially distant. His story is framed within his sadness at God’s failure to intervene to heal a four-year-old nephew’s inoperable cancer, mentioned at the start and finish.

The book will be therapy for those who feel that God is not meeting their expectations of regular intervention, and of course the Psalms give us warrant for times of lament. But the book is uneven. Chapters at the end lack logical flow, and it crucially lacks the theological reflection, in the light of the New Testament, that might help readers understand God’s apparent absence. I fear the book may do more harm than good, and am sad the author never found better biblical answers. It would have kept him from disparaging God, who is anything but ‘aloof’.

ANDY PECK is a tutor at CWR