Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Open Heart by Harry Kraus - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Open Heart
David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)
Harry Kraus


A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


Their Messages—From Beyond the Grave—Might Destroy Him ...

They hover between life and death, their hearts stopped on the surgery table. And the messages Dr. Jace Rawlings’ open-heart surgery patients bring back from beyond the grave cannot be ignored. For they predict the deaths of people around him, and point a finger of suspicion straight at him.

It thrusts Jace into a firestorm of controversy and danger. A maeltsrom blown by the darker winds of political intrigue and spiritual warfare. And the forces working against him will do anything to stop him from uncovering a truth they will kill to hide. He’d come to Kenya to establish a heart-surgery program for the poor. But what he will find in that place where he grew up will put everything at risk–his marriage, his career . . . his life.

My Thoughts:
Maybe God is trying to get your attention.” (p.231)

This sentence is a severe understatement!  God is using a megaphone the size of the universe to get Dr. Jace Rawlings attention!!   I have a distinct feeling that Dr. Harry Kraus, the author of An Open Heart, has written from firsthand experience when he delved beneath the spiritual warfare raging within the country of Africa!  And man what a story he has to tell!! 

Well, I don’t know if he writes from personal experience, but the story reflects some distinct realities that I feel only a medical missionary would be able to employ within the constraints of a fictional tale.  The reality of the poverty and disease, the tough medical choices that must be made to treat the people native to this country, the spiritual warfare that rages….all of these elements create a powerfully compelling story!  The unsolved mystery that follows Dr. Rawlings to Africa serves as a magnificent way to tie the story together into a suspenseful package that will keep you up into the wee hours  and reading frantically!

An Open Heart combines many elements  - romance (a very broken one), suspense, a hint of mystery, spiritual warfare, political intrigue – this novel has it all!  Not only does it appeal to a broad audience, but it does so in a VERY satisfying, believable way!  To make the deal even sweeter, the precious name of Jesus is revealed in some pretty amazing ways!  The transformation that takes place in the lives of the characters comes through dangerous trials, but that makes the transformation all the more believable and powerful!!

I loved this book!! The struggles were real and painful, but the resolution wasn’t neat-as-a-pin.  Very life-like!! LOVED THIS!! I HIGHLY recommend this novel!!

If you would like to read the first chapter of An Open Heart, go HERE.

No comments: