October, 2010/400 pages/$14.99
Billy Allman is a hillbilly genius. People in Dogwood, West Virginia, say he was born with a second helping of brains and a gift for playing the mandolin but was cut short on social skills. Though he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back, they were right. Billy longs to use his life as an ode to God, a lyrical, beautiful bluegrass song played with a finely tuned heart. So with spare parts from a lifetime of collecting, he builds a radio station in his own home. People in town laugh. But Billy carries a brutal secret that keeps him from significance and purpose. Things always seem to go wrong for him.
However small his life seems, from a different perspective Billy’s song reaches far beyond the hills and hollers he calls home. Malachi is an angel sent to observe Billy. Though it is not his dream assignment, Malachi follows the man and begins to see the bigger picture of how each painful step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful symphony that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chris Fabry is a 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University. He is heard on Chris Fabry Live! each weekday on Moody Radio, the Love Worth Finding broadcast, and other radio programs. You may have also heard Chris cohosting programs for Focus on the Family radio. He and his wife, Andrea, live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.
Chris's first novel for adults, Dogwood, received the 2009 Christy Award in the Contemporary Standalone category. His novel June Bug was released in July 2009. He has published more than 65 other books, including many novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and the Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR. Visit his Web site at www.chrisfabry.com.
This is a stunningly beautiful novel. You don't have to be a bluegrass aficionado to appreciate this story. Chris Fabry has created a tale that tugged at my heart. The discordant parts of Billy Allman's life song are part of a grander work composed by a Master who places each note with purpose. If only the minor chords were played, it would be a cacophony of noise. The final piece, however, is richer because of, not in spite of, the dissonance. The perspective of Malachi, Billy's unseen angel, adds to the depth and hope of this story, yet even Malachi is limited in his knowledge and understanding of the events impacting Billy. Malachi's musings concerning the incomparable love and grace which God lavishes on humans will make your heart sing.
Oh, the beauty of this God who not only fashions the world and make humans in His own image, but also can take the ashes of their lives and turn them into love. . .who takes delight in the praise of the least of these and uses brokenness so that others may see true wholeness.
Although Chris Fabry's books are not written as a series of sequels, they are connected by their setting in Dogwood, West Virginia, and it was a delight to discover a pivotal role played by someeone special from his previous novel, June Bug.
Don't miss this beautiful story. I highly, highly recommend it!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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