There are three ages of man, youth, middle age, and how the fu*k did I get old so soon*. In King's latest novel, Revival, we follow the protagonist - Jamie Morton, through all of them. It's a fairly short one (at least as far as King's novels are concerned) with 400+ pages, but he manages to present a cohesive story and conclude it properly. Still, I can't help but feel that the denouement can catch one off guard and is not exactly what could have been expected.
Jamie lives with his family in (yes, you guessed) small town in the state of Maine. His peaceful youth is strongly connected with local church and Charles Jacobs, a young reverend ,whose secret passion is electricity and the possibilities it offers. After two years a tragic accident happens and the pastor's wife and child are killed in a car accident. Heartbroken, he delivers what comes to be known as "The Terrible Sermon", in which he says some bitter words about his view on the nature of faith. Soon after he disappears from young boy's life.
Jamie continues his education and discovers a new passion. It turns out he has quite a flair for music and he begins a relatively successful career as a guitarist in various rock bands. He travels a lot, and is haunted by inner demons (drug addiction). When he is at his worst, his and Reverend's paths cross again. Their meeting will have important consequences for both men.
It's hard not to see many elements of King's biography that the author has included in the novel. The themes of religion, love, family, music, and drug addiction are nothing new for his Constant Reader. However, he manages to treat them with a fresh approach and at no point in the book does the story feel repetitive. King's approach to faith is strongly felt throughout the whole novel. He asks many profound questions connected with what makes people believe in God and taps into the possibilities of what waits for us after life on Earth is over.
Revival has been one of the most enjoyable novels by King I've read so far. I got sucked in the moment I started it. I've always enjoyed the books in which he deals predominantly with normal life, and the elements of the supernatural, the horror, seem to be in the background. Revival is certainly a book of this kind. It is also thought-provoking and deals with many questions we ask ourselves daily. King's answers won't always make the reader feel comfortable.
*not sure whose words are these originally but they are used in the novel too.