Robert West’s book, Saint Francis, is one in a series of life stories entitled Christian Encounters. The series reminds me of some similar sets of books on the lives of the saints. Its diminutive size, at only 7” by 5”, and devotional tone make it very much in line with this tradition of writing. The book is well referenced and written with care. Though I would not call this a “scholarly” text and it is, occasionally, fanciful in its depiction of the life of St Francis of Assisi, it does not lean so far into fiction as to cease being a biography. Francis’ well known love of knights, his wealthy upbringing and deep struggle with his call to follow God are coupled with detailed and historically accurate descriptions of the society, cultural context and general landscape of the time and place. West carries the reader through Francis’ misspent youth, his dedication to God and adoption of a life of poverty. There is even a section on Clare, his ministry companion and also saint in her own right. Anyone seeking to know more about the saint from a devotional perspective and to learn from his faithful and fascinating life would not be disappointed in this book.
The back of the book indicates that there is an online reading guide at the publisher’s website, however I could not locate a guide on this specific book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. 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