This is a theodicy with a difference! There are many books written on the question of why God allows suffering, but few are as personal and painful as this one.
Beginning with the author’s conflicted emotions on learning that the woman who had repeatedly abused him as a child had died, his experiences are interwoven throughout the book. He makes plain that he has no easy answers to the question posed by his sufferings; but he constrains the reader, whatever they may have suffered, to reflect on the fact that we should see ourselves not so much as victims, but as sinners ourselves, in need of a Saviour as much as anyone else. From there we are led, through a number of very short chapters, to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ and the hope that is offered to all in the gospel.
Although the brevity of the chapters makes it seem rather ‘bitty’, the style works, with many real-life illustrations helping to keep the reader gripped. The author is frank about his own frailties, and the whole book is a powerful testimony to God’s grace. The resources at the end, including an interview with a child abuser and with the pastor of a child abuser, are tremendously helpful.
Overall, The Creaking on the Stairs could be very useful to a number of different readers: as an evangelistic tool for those who have been abused, or as advice to those seeking to help others who have suffered from this sort of trauma. Highly recommended!