Ken Mansfield’s book “Between Wyomings,” is the tale of Ken and his wife, Connie, traveling through the “mile markers” of Ken’s life and career as a music producer. Ken is on a spiritual journey to find himself and believes that physically revisiting the places of his life will help him move beyond their memories and closer to God.
There are moments of wisdom:
“Instead of forgetting to remember His promises, I begin remembering that I need to forget the lies of the devil and just take God at His Word.” page 33
“I thought when I became a Christian things would sort themselves out automatically…. Instead, it seems whenever I place my trust on the Rock, it rolls over me and crushes me beneath its weight.” page 99
“I had made success my god and when failure came my way I found myself alone and confused in a godless world.” page 192
Even with its wisdom, it is, in the end, a beautifully redemptive story, awkwardly told. After a lifetime securing every pleasure the world had to offer, the real prize in Ken’s life came only after worldly failure pushed him to his knees, where he confessed faith in Jesus Christ. The awkwardness is in the storytelling–short poorly written interludes of spiritual journey are set between chapters clearly describing his career.
The spiritual interludes are confusing at best. His attempts at describing spiritual truths in a folksy, in-the-moment style were unfocused and confusing. In contrast, the chapters describing his days in the music business were written in a crisp and lyrical style that pulled me straight into the tale. The stark contrast in the literary quality of the two chapter styles was as if two different people had written the book, and the spiritual interludes became burdens to carry to the next chapter.
Judging by the testimonials at the end of the book (Pastors Alistair Begg and David Jeremiah, neither one a flatterer), Ken is a powerfully gifted speaker. That giftedness didn’t translate well into this book.