The Interview

Christian - Fiction
322 Pages
Reviewed on 09/27/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dr. Donna Lane is an award-winning author, a university professor and Christian counselor in private practice. She is married to Dr. David Lane, and is the mother of three children, Hayden, Lindsey, and Cody, who went home with Jesus after a lifelong battle with a degenerative neurological disorder. Donna is a world-renowned expert on trauma and trauma recovery. "As I thought about writing a book on spiritual warfare, I wanted to focus on helping people to more readily identify the common tactics of the enemy in a way that was relatable and meaningful to them. I have always loved C. S. Lewis, so I decided to use allegory, similar to the Screwtape Letters, to describe how the enemy uses our past experiences and the lies we believe about ourselves against us. My extensive work with trauma, abuse, grief, and loss, where I have seen firsthand Satan's machinations, informed the telling of this story."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Sarah Jacobson is a young, ambitious reporter who appears to have the media world at her feet. Her hard-hitting and revealing interviews have gotten her noticed and promoted at a much younger age than most. In The Interview by Donna E. Lane, she is asked to interview a reclusive, powerful and rich business tycoon, who NEVER gives interviews. She realizes this is her opportunity to catapult her career into the stratosphere. Sarah, though, has spent her life running from her horrific childhood and the abuses she suffered as a little girl at the hands of her mentally ill father. What she doesn’t know is that the interview with the unknown mogul will bring this pain straight to the surface. How can she cope?

What I particularly liked about The Interview was that Lane used the story to explore the concepts of good versus evil, of power and control versus freedom of choice. Although this is nominally a “Christian” story, I didn’t find that element to be at all intrusive. I would call it inspirational rather than Christian. What Lane so skillfully did was use the narrative to allow us, the readers, to question ourselves about trauma, forgiveness and the purpose of self. Yes, both the interview subject and the character representing good in the story were extreme caricatures of real people, but that allowed the author to present both arguments of the same story, which was excellent.

My biggest take, and perhaps the most eerily scary of all, was the almost direct comparison between the attitudes and beliefs of the interview subjects and some of today’s political leaders. I’m not sure if this was the author’s intent, but I could easily picture a certain president being the interview subject. I also enjoyed the way the author split the prose between first person (for the interview) and third person (for the background on Sarah). This was clever and always maintained good perspective as a reader. An excellent read and Lane should be congratulated on The Interview.

Connie Mitchell

The Interview is powerful, captivating, and thought provoking. As followers of Jesus we are in a Spiritual War whether we are conscious of it or not. The Interview is an allegory that brings to light the battle we are in and exposes the tactics of the enemy. The main character Sarah is confronted by her past that is full of pain and abuse. Through an unexpected encounter Sarah discovers that she no longer has to let her past define her but has the choice to accept love and forgiveness. However, only she can make the choice to stay in the past or live in the truth of who God created her to be. The Interview is well written and the author keeps the reader engaged and it doesn’t disappoint.

J. Chambers

I don't read a lot of Christian fiction, preferring nonfiction most of the time, but the storyline piqued my interest with its reference to C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. But unlike The Screwtape Letters, which is satirical and quite humorous at times, author Donna Lane's story is about a troubled young lady journalist who's presented with the opportunity of a lifetime - to interview an all-powerful but shadowy business magnate who's never allowed an interview before. But Sarah Jacobson brought a lot of emotional baggage to the interview, unable to forget the horrors of her turbulent childhood, with an abusive, psychotic father and a mother who turned a blind eye to his brutality. Somehow the man she's interviewing seemed to know about her past, but that's impossible. Or is it?

As the interview progressed, Sarah gradually realized that she was the one being interviewed, and that the man across the table was a narcissistic, angry individual whose rage boiled just under the surface behind a misleadingly pleasant façade. Two other characters were introduced during the interview: a weasely looking fellow who worked for the big man, and Josh, the quiet caterer who befriended Sarah.

I can't say much more about the book without revealing spoilers, but suffice to say that it's a very engaging allegorical story about good confronting evil, and resisting the temptations of Satan. The story is told as a first person threaded narrative with Sarah's childhood and early years as a backstory told in flashbacks.

One last thing: when I read fiction, I often try to imagine who would play the various characters in the movie version. For the powerful man being interviewed, I see Jeremy Irons as he played Claus von Bülow in Reversal of Fortune. I can also see Christopher Plummer in the role. For journalist Sarah Jacobson, it's either Holly Hunter or Scarlett Johansson, take your pick. For Josh, I would go with Edward Norton, and for Weasel, it's longtime character actor Steve Buscemi. (All actors assumed to be in their prime.)

Debbi Baker

I really enjoy stories told through allegory and this one did not disappoint. The story is compelling and stirs your compassion and sense of wonder, while stimulating your thoughts. I'm glad to have read it! I was engaged by this contemporary telling as I was through the The Screwtape Letters. The Interview story is very practical and revealing, in that it shows the tactics our enemy uses against us. When you see the tricks and traps employed by characters in the stories, you may just see the similarity to those used against you in your own life and learn to resist the temptations to align with our adversary to our own harm. Fore warned is fore armed. Another character, the Caterer, shows a different perspective and how powerful a position it is when we live our freedom through choice. He is charming and invites us to choose to love deeply and in so doing enjoy life.

W. Flaherty

A riveting, spiritual game of Tug-of-War. How can you go from an embedded fear of past experiences confidently into the future? One of the ways to get strong again is to be set free. ~Sarah is a courageous warrior.

Cindy Peralta

Brilliant in the manner of C. S. Lewis. The Interview is so well written, so clever and so insightful into the lies of Satan, and the fruit of those lies in humanity. Followed by the hope of redemption and love through truth.

Takashi Todoroki

I loved this book, it has helped me in my own spiritual path so much. I hope the author writes more so I can continue to learn from and connect with the characters.

Melanie Flora

Quite a page turner! Full of intrigue...held my interest throughout. I highly recommend this book!