The Steam Room Diaries
Genre: Fiction / Humour / Spiritual .
How does that old joke go? A priest, a Rabi, and a banker walk into a bar… Hmm… How about this one: A guy who used to be a priest (and a reverend) walks into a steam room and finds… God? This realistic portrayal of spirituality and humanity blossoming in the unlikeliest of places, will have you laughing, crying, and wondering at the meaning of it all.
Cameron Miller brings to life a variety of characters in a fitness centre’s steam room, for men. As a woman reading what feels, at first, like a great male-bonding piece of writing, I can’t give high enough praise to the subtle development of this book. What began as a bit of a farcical read (hey it’s a bunch of strange men, some of which are naked, sitting and chatting in a steam room) actually delved in a tongue-in-cheek way into how our lives can spill over into the strangest places. The fact that Craig, a twice failed priest, experiences God amidst sexual mayhem, betrayal, love, friendship, and fatherhood can make you laugh and touch your heart, speaks volumes about the universalities in life.
My only criticism for this piece is that I had to read it twice. In a way, that’s a good thing, but I had to solve a few things in my mind before I could put the book to rest. The growth of these characters is gradual, and due to the perceived nature of everyone other than the protagonist, I found I needed to re-read several of the earlier chapters to remind myself of the timing of events. Everything I searched for was there, no doubt about it; I just overlooked it either due to the hilarity of the situation or the nonchalant journal-style used. It’s only due to my personal perceptions as a reader that I did not absorb everything during my first read.
I would recommend The Steam Room Diaries to anyone, regardless of faith or non-faith, as it touches on those big and little things in life that seem to matter so much – yet in the end might not be as important as understanding your personal ‘big picture’.
Review by M.J. Moores, Author of Time’s Tempest: The Chronicles of Xannia & other works
Categories: Book Reviews