Monday, October 15, 2012

A Thousand Sleepless Night by Michael King - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Realms Publishing)

A family torn apart by neglect and hurt…
And brought together again by a most unlikely force
In the 1970s, escaping a home where he knew nothing but violence and hate, Jim Harding found work, and love, on the largest horse ranch in Virginia. The object of his affections, Nena St. Claire, is the daughter of the owner—a man who ruled his ranch with an iron fist and would do whatever it took to keep Nena and Jim apart.
Against the wishes of her family, Nena marries Jim, and after her father dies, she sacrifices everything—including her family—to keep the ranch alive. Now their three grown children have lives of their own and want nothing to do with Nena. She was never the mother they needed.
When cancer strikes and Nena is given a devastating diagnosis, can Jim reconcile the family before it is too late?
My Thoughts:
Just because He’s God and I’m His child doesn’t mean I get excused from the sufferings of this world.  There’s no get-out-of-suffering- free cards.”  (p.172)

The truth of these words are the summation of a concept many Christians struggle with as they walk through this life.  The characters in Michael King’s debut novel, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, takes a family through a perfect storm of trial that threatens to rob them of everything – everything that matters to them in the present.  The story is told from the vantage points of Jim and Nena Hutching and their three children and respective families.   Each family is facing unexpected crisis, and each must decide how they will react to their circumstances.  

How we react to circumstances in our lives is often affected deeply by circumstances that happened earlier in our lives, and the Hutching family is no exception.  They are made aware of the consequences of poor choices in the past, and they must choose whether or not they will go forward differently.  That process is most often terrifying , and the temptation to return to familiar patterns of behavior – even though wrong – is a huge temptation.  However, when your life is in the balance, somehow taking chances isn’t as scary, because eternity is at stake.  That’s where you find the Hutching family – at the crossroads that separates the present circumstances from eternity itself.

The choices this family makes are pretty universal in their familiarity.  At least they were to me.  So many times the choices they made were simply out of a desperate need to get away from the pain of their past mistakes.  It isn’t until they are brought together as a family that they are forced to face the past and reconcile their present behavior with God .  The change that is wrought is not without painful consequences, but the strength to survive is evident by the end of the story.

This is an excellent modern-day story of family, faith and a fiery trial.  Readers will identify with one or more of the characters in the story, and will be challenged to look at their own life differently.  The author, Michael King, knows the struggles of the Hutching family intimately, because he is a cancer survivor.  Bravo!! This is a beautiful story!

About the Author: (from the author's site)
  I am a husband, father, author, teacher, workshop presenter, and follower of Christ. I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. My passion is reaching people through the power of story, to entertain and encourage, exhort and inspire.

Born in Baltimore, MD, and raised mostly in small towns in Pennyslvania, I have become an observer of people–a “peoplologist.” I’ve wrestled with stuttering for most of my life, eventually finding my voice through the written word, and battled and beat colon cancer.

My wife and I are doing our best to raise our four daughters. She homeschools the three oldest and I work full-time in homecare physical therapy.

I have a heart for those struggling with life as it is lived, those who are weary of the journey, fearful, anxious, lost. Those who have been faced with a mountain that seems unclimbable.

I’m just a man, doing my best to love my family and honor my God. I fail, I stumble, I mess up big time . . . but by God’s grace I get up and try again, keep plodding along, and hopefully, offer some encouragement to others along the way.

My first novel, A Thousand Sleepless Nights, releases everywhere on October 16. Be sure to check it out.

**(Michael King is the pen name of author Mike Dellosso. As Mike Dellosso I write stories of suspense and intrigue, as Michael King . . . stories of faith and family).

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