Let me tell you how much I wanted to read this book.
Normally, when I tour a book, I get a free copy. That's my pay for my reviews. I like that arrangement. Saves me buckets of money, and I get to share great reading with all of you.
But for our tour with Greg's book, the publisher had no copies. It sold out. It was in reprints already. So we were told to tour the book and maybe get a copy later on.
That sparked my interest. Hm...sold out? In reprints? I went out and hunted a copy down and bought it. Finished it last night. Guess what??
I'm SO glad I bought this book! A perfect pick for an Oprah Book Club Selection, "Shame" has all the elements that make for a rich, deep story without all of the 'ick' factor most of those books out there have.
John Tilden had dreams for his future--big dreams. But one decision changed it all for him. Instead of college basketball, a full ride scholarship and a high powered position as a lawyer, an architect, or something Fortune 500-ish...
...he's running the family farm in Watonga, Oklahoma, married with three children and coaching a losing high school basketball team. And he's okay with that.
Then there are those days where, with too much time on the tractor, he dreams of what could have been. Caught between what is and what was, John isn't sure what he wants, or if what he has truly makes him happy.
His relationship with God? As shallow as you can get without getting out of the spiritual pool. He's definitely staying in the kid's pool, afraid to go too deep with God or with anyone.
Then events begin to unfold that could change the course of John's life, or solidify where he sits right now. It's his choice. What will John choose, and how will it affect the rest of those he loves?
Filled with images of basketball and high school glory days, life as one plowing the rich soil of the south, and small town living, you are there with John Tilden and the people that surround him. You live his life...and you follow his choices, arguing with him at times like he's right there beside you.
Greg Garrett's words flow like a steady river, with bends and curves that refresh, challenge and inspire...then spill you out into a pool of possibilities that will surprise you and maybe even change you.
This is one book that will remain on my shelf, probably until the day I die. It's that good. I wish Greg had written more about John's faith, gone deeper...but then again, I like this book the way it is.
Maybe what I'm really wishing is that MY faith went deeper, and by looking at John, it's moving me in my own walk with God. Because I don't want to feel like John feels...and yet in some ways, I do.
Don't miss reading what could be the best work of fiction in Christian publishing this year. And I realize many may disagree with me...that's okay. I know what I like, and I know what's great in my eyes...and that's what this blog is all about.
I'm giving "Shame" the Golden Bookmark, with a golden tractor as a charm. I'm also voting it "Best Overall Fiction of 2009". I only hope Mr. Garrett has another book in him. I'm thirsty for more already.
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Monday, May 18, 2009
Authored by Deena Peterson at 10:32 AM