DiscoverComing of Age

God's Will: Based on a True Story

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Loved it! 😍

God's Will is a gripping, gut-wrenching story that explores the partial perspectives and extreme methods of religious fanatics.

Based on a true story, Matthew John Echan’s novel God’s Will is the story of Sam Snyder, a fourteen year old boy, who is admitted into a reform school in Missouri by his adoptive mother. Sam is initially led to believe that he is being taken to his godfather’s farm for some quality time. When he learns the truth of his mother’s intentions, he argues and complains, hoping he might be able to change her mind, but it’s too late.


Mount Zion Baptist Boarding Academy turns out to be far worse than Sam had imagined it to be. All letters that kids write to their parents are checked before being posted, to make sure no information that could give a bad impression of the school is conveyed. Things begin to deteriorate even more with the arrival of Brother Bruce, who adopts very strict measures to keep everyone under check. Sam lands in extra trouble more than once for swearing and checking out girls, with whom they are forbidden to communicate. The novel describes how Mount Zion’s policy of instilling fear into the minds of kids begins to affect Sam’s psyche. He knows he must escape this place if he’s to hold on to who he used to be.


There are some scenes of violence and vulgar language being used. There are parts where Sam and his companions question the principles of extremist Christians. It focuses on how certain groups of people tend to exercise harsh ways to influence the minds of others. Sam believes in God but is opposed to religious fanaticism. The use of force and hostility is definitely not the right approach when what you claim to do is spread the love and teachings of God.


I felt the pacing of the story was quite fitting. It kept me engaged from start to end. Most of the important action takes place during the second half of the book, but that doesn’t mean the first half is monotonous in any way. The early chapters lay a solid base for the plot to progress. The ending is a bit ambiguous, but I believe it aptly sums up the main themes of the novel. The author has successfully created characters that are relatable and believable.


I give the book a 4 star rating. God’s Will would certainly appeal more to teenagers or people who’ve been in similar situations. 


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I believe books are the best escape from reality. I've loved reading since I was a kid, and I hope to continue reading as long as I can.

About the author

Quoir is a boutique publisher providing concept-to-publication solutions and creative services for print and digital books, podcasts, and videos. We are committed to being author-centric, collaborative, and unconventional. view profile

Published on September 15, 2020

Published by Quoir

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Coming of Age

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