Kenny Kemp, author of "The Welcoming Door," does a fantastic job depicting the culture and life of one living in ancient Jerusalem and the surrounding area. I learned a lot about what it might have been like living in that area during Christ's time. For example, I noticed all throughout the book the complete necessity of having water available for cleaning, cooking, and most importantly, for drinking. Although it wasn't in the novel itself, the way that the characters depended so much on water made me think of the story in the Bible when Christ talks to the woman of the well about the Living Waters. The way the characters were always looking for water in "The Welcoming Door" helped me understand more deeply why the concept of Living Water would have hit so close to home for the woman at the well.
I was a little unsatisfied with the ending of the novel however. For me, the ending seemed too happy and carefree. It was hard to believe that a thief and would-be murderer could have such a quick turn-around and that the robbed and nearly-murdered merchant would be so quick to forgive the fault against him. But then again, with Christ as the main character leading all of the other characters, how could it possibly have ended with a negative message?
Overall, I enjoyed the book and the overall messages it conveys to readers of all religions as it stays in harmony with the teachings of the Bible: there is hope and healing through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, even when we may not exactly deserve it.