Book Review: Can You See Anything Now by Katherine James

Book Review Faith Family Friendships Grace Mental Health Solitude Strength Waiting

Relevant Christian fiction novels are hard to come by. Katherine James is a fresh voice among many cookie cutter Christian books. Can You See Anything Now took me by surprise. I had to check the back cover on numerous occasions to make sure I was reading a Christian book. I’m not used to curse words in Christian books. And how refreshing it is!

Tragedy and humility lace the stories of the people of Trinity. Can You See Anything Now follows Margie, the suicidal painter who teaches uptight Etta to paint nudes and follows Margie’s daughter, Noel and her roommate, Pixie, who falls into a freezing river. What better place to reveal mercy and grace than in the middle of a raw and unapologetic story of loss?

My favorite under-highlighted story was the story of Margie and her grandfather who was also a painter. His wisdom permeated the novel. James reveals to us that he is a painter who has chosen to paint about “things that people consume.” It turns out that people were consuming him in the same manner.

And it is a foreshadow of how the mystery of faith consumes us, the reader. I’m grateful to Paraclete Press for a publishing this incredible book. It reminded me at times of Junot Díaz’s, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar of Oscar Wao. Similarly, Díaz’s tour de force takes the literary bull by the horns and unapologetically inserts language that serves as resistance to the status quo and a slap to the literary canon face. He won the Pulitzer for it.

I’m grateful for Katherine James’ voice. I’m glad that people like her are writing in the Christian world without apology. I am hungry to read her memoir, Notes on Orion, set to release in 2018.

If you enjoy books like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Sleep in Me, Let the Great World Spin, and Shock of the Fall, I recommend that you read this book. It is definitely a favorite. I will be following Paraclete Press more closely.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of Katherine James’ launch team. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”