Revival follows the interactions of Jamie Morton and a small town reverend, Charles Jacobs, over the span of several decades. Jamie and Charles first meet when Jamie is a young boy. Jacobs is the new reverend at their local church. He infuses new life into the church, and things are going great until tragedy strikes Jacobs and his family. Everything begins to crumble at that point. Jacobs loses faith, and so does Jamie. But not before Jacobs apparently healed Jamie’s older brother’s voice with electricity.
Time goes by, and Jamie runs across Jacobs again at a state fair. Jacobs, having always been fascinated by electricity and lightning, is running an attraction at the fair, involving electricity and photography. Not exactly fake, but not exactly real, either. Jamie is strung out, addicted to heroin, having just been kicked out of his touring rock band. When he passes out at Jacobs’s demonstration, he awakes to find himself in Jacobs’s RV.
Jacobs eventually convinces Jamie to travel with him to his workshop in Oklahoma, where Jacobs administers a sort of shock therapy to him. Jamie will never touch drugs again. This is just the beginning, though.
Later on, Jamie encounters Jacobs once again. He seems to have returned to his religious roots, running a healing ministry. Again, electricity is involved. The intensity gains force as the story goes on, and strange things begin to happen to a number of people that Charles Daniel Jacobs has “healed.” Things that are not good.
All of this comes to a head with one big event, toward the end of the book. Jacobs blackmails Jamie into helping him by offering to heal his first love from his teenage years, who is dying from cancer. Jacobs is intent on seeing what is behind the “door” that many of his “patients” have seen, immediately after their “healing.” He finds out. I’m sure he wishes he hadn’t.
I enjoyed the book, although it is far from a favorite. As has been the case more than once, I was a bit disappointed in the ending. But it held my attention, and I enjoyed the character development and interaction.