A Son Comes Home tells the story of an extraordinary and life-changing summer in the life of an American family. The main character, Chris LaRue, is a graduate student and college instructor in his mid-twenties, who has drifted not only from his heavenly Father, but also from his earthly parents. Early in the book he returns to Indiana to spend the summer with them after being estranged from them for two years. It is a summer in which he will confront his former fiancie, Beth, but also new family crises, including his father's grave illness and his sister's unwanted pregnancy. Chris is still haunted by the death of his older brother David two years before. His relationship with his brother had been a complex mixture of closeness and rivalry. David was his father's favorite. David loved Chris but also betrayed him during the final days before his death, and he left secrets behind Chris feels obligated to keep, but that continue to spread their poison as time goes by. Back home again, Chris must decide how much of the truth he can bear to tell. The book is a family story in several senses-an individual family, an extended family, and a church family. It is a carefully crafted book about the complexity of relationships. It tells of prodigal sons and daughters, ordinary people who stray from the Lord during their times of darkness and squander what He has given them. They take matters into their own hands and try to force their own solutions with sometimes disastrous results. It is also ultimately a story of coming to one's senses, of confession and forgiveness, of reconciliation with God and with each other.
Although this novel is a good fit for the general Christian fiction market, this story can also appeal to students both in high school and in college. Students can easily relate to the characters in this book. The novel is also powerful in showing the dynamics of family relationships at many levels.
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