This is truly a book that defies categorization. Although it has a theme of redemption and forgiveness, it wouldn't be considered your typical Christian fiction novel. The first part of the story focuses on Jesse's life in Hollywood as it falls apart. It portrays his life with the curse words, drinking, drugs, and unmarried sex that exist in it, along with the suicide attempt that leads him back home to start over. This section is very realistic and doesn't pull any punches. It may be too much for some readers of Christian fiction (especially those who prefer a "clean" read), but if you don't mind a bit of edgy and honest material, From the Dead is a worthwhile read.
From the Dead is a story that touches on many themes--returning home, starting over in life, the relationships between fathers and sons, acceptance of responsibilities, and forgiveness. To me, Jesse seems to be the quintessential "prodigal son". He left home eleven years earlier to escape the judgmental eyes and expectations of those around him who expected him to follow in his preacher father's footsteps. His desire to rebel and find himself leads him to Hollywood, where he spends eleven years of disappointment. When he realizes that his relationships have no depth and his career is at a standstill, he unsuccessfully attempts suicide. Returning home to start over, he takes a job as a maintenance man and begins to reconnect with the people from his past. Although he struggles with his relationship with his father, things seem to be improving. He feels like he is home.