Revie Bryson, a precocious and dreamy kid from Paris, Indiana, has decided he’s the second coming of Christ: and why not? His mother, a captivating performer and inventive storyteller, likes to tell him made- up Bible stories, which she claims are “lost episodes,” or outtakes from the King James version. Wild as prophecy and seemingly just as coded, these charming and dangerous tales feature steel mills, cars, and transistor radios, among other artifacts not generally associated with life at the beginning of Anno Domini. After years of listening to these stories, is it really so far-fetched for Revie to believe that God might show up on his doorstep one day like Ed McMahon and the Prize Patrol?
Faith can be fickle, though, and Revie’s belief in God and his family is scuttled when his mother suffers a crisis of identity and leaves home to pursue her dreams of stardom in Hollywood. Over the course of a year, one family and one boy must learn to sacrifice and forgive in order to be born again.
Furuness’s writing is operatic, sounding each note on the scale of human experience with precision and brio. As the novel navigates the tricky adult negotiations that sustain domestic mythologies and the bittersweet nature of adolescent discoveries, the readers is reminded that anyone can be subject to resurrection, with all its terror and promise, and that the winding journey toward love and salvation is life-long. By turns humorous and provocative, disquieting and heart-warming, The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson is a stunning debut you won’t soon forget.