The Book of Jotham, written by Arthur Powers, is a novella written from the perspective of a mentally challenged man-child who becomes a disciple of Christ.
Jotham is cared for by Mary and others during Jesus’ ministry and his innocence gives him insight into Christ’s real identity. Some of the apostles question why God would create someone like Jotham, who appears to be at a disadvantage, but Jesus defends him, knowing the purity of his heart.
As a novella, The Book of Jotham is published by Tuscany Press and won Tuscany’s 2012 Best Novella prize last year.
The idea of writing the Gospel accounts from the perspective of Jotham gave a fresh perspective on the material. In line with Jotham’s mental challenges, his sentences are short and simple and innocent.
This approach works well to express Christ’s story in a new way, but I have to admit that, by the end of the book, I wanted more. I wanted more description, more insight, more words. Reading a novella where most of the sentences are under ten words, many of them just one or two, dampened my reading experience over time. The novelty wore off and I grew frustrated.
Granted, the author had to stay honest with the character and approach and I applaud him for taking such a bold step, but it eventually did not jive with my personal tastes.
For others, it may not bother them at all and they may think I’m nuts. That’s okay too.
As a novella, The Book of Jotham is a quick and easy read that is well written with a unique style and voice, giving a new way to experience Christ’s ministry.