Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Almost Heavn by Chris Fabry - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from the publisher)

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.

My Thoughts:

“The Lord gives us all a song to play, and at first we just play it the best we know how and try to work on it and make it better. Most of the time it sounds awful. But there comes a point where we realize it’s not really our song to begin with, and if we’ll follow the lead of the one who wrote the tune in the first place, we’ll come out all right.” (p. 356)

I’ve never read a Chris Fabry novel that didn’t resonate deep within my soul. God has truly given this man a gift to look into the dark places of human depravity and see the glimpse of hope and purpose that only God can place within such darkness. Almost Heaven tells the story of Billy Allman from two very distinct vantage points – his own, earthly view, and the view from his heavenly appointed guardian. Quite honestly, I think Malachi is the voice of the author himself…observing what God is doing in the lives of the characters as he writes their story. But that’s just my opinion! Whatever the viewpoint, this story will cause your heart to reconsider the dark places in your own life. You will begin to consider what God is orchestrating through the circumstances that you understand, and those you question. And you will understand how much He loves you all over again.

Almost Heaven also gives the reader glimpses into the characters’ lives from Fabry’s previous novels, Dogwood, and June Bug. Fabry is weaving the fabric his stories into a rich masterpiece of God’s mercy and grace. He understands that nothing in this world is beyond the reach of God’s all-powerful hand, nor is anything wasted in the lives of His children. God does understand - all too well - the price sin demands, because He paid the debt with the precious blood of His only begotten Son –so that we don’t have to. Thus Bill Allman – and all those who have experienced tragedy in this life – can trust all of their yesterdays and their tomorrows to God.

Your heart will ache as you read this story – both with pain and with joy. And you will forever remember Billy Allman and the little town of Dogwood, West Virginia.

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 latest 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.


Mocha with Linda said...

I loved this book.

Julia M. Reffner said...

I really enjoyed this read, too. Great review!