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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Almost Heaven...Review

About the book:
"I suppose you can sum up a man's life with a few words, but I need to put this story down to fill in the missing pieces. Or perhaps I can convince the people who know me as a hermit that there was some reason for it all.  But this is not really for those outside looking in. This is for me." 

Some people say Billy Allman has a heart of gold.  Others say he's a bit odd.  The truth is, they're all right.  He's a hillbilly genius--a collector, a radio whiz--and he can make the mandolin sing. Though he dreams of making an impact on the world beyond the hills and hollers of Dogwood, West Virginia, things just always seem to go wrong. 

But however insignificant Billy's life seems, it has not gone unnoticed. Malachi is an angel sent to observe and protect Billy. Though it's not his dream assignment, Malachi always follows orders.  And as Billy's story unfolds, Malachi slowly begins to see the bigger picture--that each step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful song that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.

I adored June Bug and when I was offered the chance to review Almost Heaven, I jumped and although it took a little bit to get into it, I wasn't disappointed.

To the world, Billy Allman is a poor, backwoods man who lives on a hill in a holler and has nothing to redeem him. To those whose lives Billy touches however, he is a remarkable man, full of true compassion.  His life has been hard and he has seen more than his share of tragedy.  But, through it all, Billy has simply been a good person.  He's always done the right thing, he's always cared and he's always tried. 

The chapters alternate between Billy and Malachi and I found Malachi's part interesting.  His perspective was from the guardian angel who must protect his charge from the evil minions of the adversary.  Often, his narration portrayed the dark, hopelessness that surrounds us.  But, he also spoke of the creator who knows all and sees all and has an eternal perspective, we mortals don't have.While Malachi's narration added a unique depth to the story, I think Billy's story would have been rich and resonant on its own.

This is a beautiful story that shows the worth of each individual soul and that God will use the most humble, ordinary and even ignored people to fulfill his work here on earth.  Chris Fabry has such a remarkable way with words and this is a compelling, satisfying story.

Thanks to LeAnn at Glass Roads PR for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Chris Fabry here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 10/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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