Somehow the notification that Annette Smith's A Bigger Life was CFBA's book of the week slipped past me. Am I glad I caught it by reading someone else's blog. Why? Because this is a book you don't want to miss at all.
A couple months ago someone on the ACFW loop recommended this read as a great example of writing in the male POV. Sounded intriguing since I'm often told my male characters don't sound like men in their word choices. I hadn't even asked for an influencer copy through CFBA so I went out and bought the book. I wasn't disappointed at all.
Written in first person present, I immediately was drawn into the life of Joel Carpenter. The story description reads:
Joel Carpenter did not plan for his life to turn out like this. He never meant to be a single dad, working at a hair salon in Eden Plain, Texas. But after making a careless choice four years ago, his marriage was permanently shattered. Now at twenty-seven, he finds himself juggling custody of his preschool son with Kari, the ex-wife he still loves, and sharing Sunday dinners with a group of other single dads. Joel regrets the choices that brought him to this place, but it's not until the worst happens that he learns how much he still has to give. In the midst of deep tragedy, he learns that forgiveness is way more important than freedom. Hopefully it's not too late!A BIGGER LIFE is a story of love in the midst of heartache, and friendship in the midst of real, everyday life.
That's a short idea of the storyline. Annette's voice captures so well the way this guy thinks, and the present tense makes you feel as though you are in the story, in the moment, living this life of ups and downs right with Joel. Her treatment of the spiritual thread is one that is subtle but powerful. You are in Joel's thoughts as he considers each baby step he makes toward coming to know God.
Have I whet your appetite? If so, I have a copy of A Bigger Life to give away. Leave a comment to this post and I'll draw a name next Friday.
Here's more about Annette Smith:
In 1997, Annette was working as a home health nurse. She traveled the back roads from house to house, caring for ill and injured, homebound people. Because of her unique position in the lives of relative strangers, she often found herself bearing solitary witness to intimate behind-the-scenes situations full of grace and meaning. The desire to honor both a particular patient and a poignant scene involving the woman and her husband prompted Annette to write a fictionalized story, The Anniversary. That first story appeared as a column in the Houston Chronicle newspaper and as an essay in Today’s Christian Woman magazine. Later it became a chapter in Annette’s first and best-selling book of short stories, The Whispers of Angels, that has sold more than 100,000 copies Since then, Annette has penned four more books of stories, two volumes on parenting, and the Coming Home to Ruby Prairie trilogy. Annette and her husband Randy, a High School teacher and coach, make their home on a wooded lot in Quitman, Texas. They are the parents of two young adult children, Russell and Rachel, both out on their own. Wally, a grateful, rescued mutt provides warmth and entertainment and keeps the Smith’s empty nest from feeling too lonely. In addition to writing, Annette continues to serve part-time as a registered nurse. She finds the people she works with and the patients she cares for provide great inspiration for her fiction.
Don't forget about my drawing! Leave a comment and win this book!
If you don't win, go to Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1576839958
You won't be disappointed.