(Book Review) Messages From Estillyen

MessagesReviewed by: Brecken Mumford, Novi, Michigan, writing student


Title: Messages From Estillyen: A Novel of Redemption and Human Worth

Author: William E. Jefferson

Publisher: Port Estillyen Productions

Publication Date: February 14, 2014

Format: Print Book

Length: 422 pages, plus 11 pages of Appendixes and a Map


William E. Jefferson’s romance novel, Messages of Estillyen, follows newlyweds Goodwin and Hollie Macbreeze as they search for comfort and peace. On the final leg of their journey, prompted by a sketch Goodwin made as a young boy and the recommendation of his grandfather, they are headed for the mysterious Isle of Estillyen—home to the Old Order of Message Makers. As they spend a month on the island, Hollie and Goodwin explore the truths of the writings, readings, and lifestyles of the mysterious monks (and nuns). Strange circumstances and an unquenchable curiosity thrust the Macbreezes into the life of old Oban Ironbout—a man left wounded by his past.  Caught up in the drama of Mr. Ironbout and intrigued by the unusual Estillyen atmosphere, Goodwin and Hollie find more than just themselves on this trip.


Rating (1 to 5)

3 out of 5 Stars

Suggested Audience

Messages from Estillyen would be suited best for adults from their mid-twenties and older. Although this is a work of fiction, Jefferson presents ideas and truths that, while applicable to most ages, are projected for a more mature audience.  Some of the conflicts and struggles of the characters are more relatable for readers in similar stages of life.

Christian Impact

The Message Makers of Estillyen are men who spend their entire lives studying  secular writing and the Scriptures; they enjoy the simple things of life and love to discuss deep topics with visitors to the isle.  Through the messages, called readings in the novel, Jefferson presents biblical truths in a format that is relatable and intriguing. He incorporates the messages of truth by having Hollie and Goodwin following a series of these messages while they explore Estillyen.  These readings examine the importance of Scripture’s messages and the media by which they travel—Christ is the message and the medium combined. Jefferson also includes the viewpoint of Lucifer in these writings: similar to Randy Alcorn’s The Ishbane Conspiracy. William E. Jefferson challenges the reader to think about the influence words and Truth have on the world and how we as image-bearers are called to present them through our callings.

Other Notes

While this book was intriguing, I also found the reading a bit slow at times.  Jefferson is incredibly descriptive, which is greatly appreciated; however, he tends to be overly descriptive to the point of redundancy, and he describes unnecessary things at strange places in the book.  I appreciated his ability to describe things in detail, but it often detracted from the story. In addition, Hollie and Goodwin lacked a depth that most “Christian” characters would be expected to have; Jefferson never really had the Macbreezes discuss the topics shared through the messages.  The dialogue also seemed quite abrupt and moved at a quick pace, whereas the story moved at a slower speed.

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One Response to “(Book Review) Messages From Estillyen”

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