January 31, 2012

Book Review - Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry

by Chris Fabry

Truman Wiley is not the most likeable character.  He’s been an absentee father while he has pursued his journalistic pursuits around the world.  He’s addicted to gambling and is not above stealing money from family members to pursue this passion.  People to whom he owes big gambling debts are violently pursuing their money.  His son, Aiden, is extremely sick,  his only hope being a heart transplant, and Tru can hardly force himself to visit Aiden in the hospital.  Truman looks with skepticism and sometimes, mockery, on anyone who expresses his belief in God or prayer.  Yes, Truman has a lot of dysfunction in his life, but the positive part of this novel surrounds Truman’s desire to “fix it.”

 Truman’s estranged wife, Ellen,  has stood by her children while her husband traveled for his job and gambled away his money.  When Aiden has his latest near death episode, Ellen swallows her pride to contact Truman.  A friend from her church, Oleta, has a husband on death row and a deal is in the works for Terrelle to donate his heart to Aiden after Terrelle’s execution.  Terrelle, a former drunk, who has found religion in prison, sees this as a way to do some good in this world.   Truman is to write a book about Terrill from the accused’s point of view. This, in a sense, was the price to pay for the heart that could save Aiden’s life.

 When his daughter, Abigail, asks to help with the writing of Terrelle’s story, thankfully, the reader begins to see a breakthrough in Truman’s own heart.   As we follow the journey of this family, we experience the pain addictions of any kind can bring and the searching for forgiveness and acceptance.  But this book is not only a book about relationships with family and with God, it is also a novel of suspense and mystery, and moral decisions.   I had to keep reading to find out if there was any hope at all for Terrelle, for Aiden, or for Truman. 

 At first, I thought Truman was so despicable, I didn’t think I wanted to hear his story.  That’s often the way with addicts.  We don’t care how they got there, just that they are there and what they are doing is hurting themselves and others.  We’d rather close our eyes to it because it wears us out.  Truman was a much greater man in my eyes by the end of the story.

I gave this book a 5 STAR on my Amazon.com review because of the depth of character given to Truman, the discussion of the moral choice he faced with Terrelle, and the riveting suspense created as the story unfolded. 

You can read more about the author
and this book at www.chrisfabry.com

My thanks to Tyndale Publishing for providing this book for my review.  The opinions are my own and were not influenced by Tyndale.

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