Friday, November 21, 2008

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips

I received some fantastic news this morning. Jesse's cousin Johnny went in for a CAT scan this morning. He finished his chemotherapy treatments for his cancer and the scan was to see if they had beat the cancer or if he needed more treatments. Praise God, Johnny is cancer free! You can read my original post about the discovery of his cancer here. It's been seven months of worry and prayer, but God is good. In more good cancer news, Tricia from Confessions of a CF Husband also appears to be cancer free. You can read it here. I'll be praying for the antibiotics to clear up her infection and give her a clean bill of health.

My uncle Howard finds out on Wednesday when he starts taking his very aggressive radiation treatments. The doctors are now giving him a 30% chance of survival, and they have found more lumps on his shoulders. We're having Thanksgiving at my mom's, and it looks like we will all be taking the time to appreciate spending time together and enjoying it while we can. Please keep him in your prayers.

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips by Stephen Baldwin and Mark Tabb is an unusual Christian fiction book. Police officer Andy Meyers responds to a call to find a dead boy, Gabriel, whose father is reacting strangely. Meyers had been sleeping with the boy's mother and bonding with the child, so he feels a deep-seated need for justice for the boy's death. The father doesn't react like Meyers would expect with tears and hysteria. Instead, he's calm and talks about how Gabriel has gone home to be with the Lord. This infuriates Meyers who sets out to prove that the father killed Gabriel because he was angry about the affair. The plot is delightfully twisted and convoluted, especially because the narrator is Meyers' son, who he abandoned as soon as he discovered his wife was pregnant. Despite the complicated plot, Baldwin and Tabb keeps things running smoothly from the death to a trial and finally an execution. There has been some concern about the strong language used in the book. While I admit, it is stronger than most Christian fiction on the market, it's nowhere near as strong as plenty of secular fiction, and it's always used appropriately to the character and never for titillation. The only character who is a Christian is Gabriel's father, so the occasional cuss word helps create the character and scene. It works. The authors keep the reader guessing as to exactly what happened to Gabriel, as well as what Andy is going to do next. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope that Baldwin continues writing!

The winners of My Mother's Wish were Carol Rybka and Sue Schaal. Congratulations you two! I'll be holding another contest starting Dec. 1, so stop back then! Mia & Mommy's Book Blog will be up sometime this weekend, depending on Her Royal Highness' whims. Today's pic is from the Packer party at Mom's last weekend