We read this book for our book club. What a lot to talk about!! There are so many situations in Billy's life that if you don't relate to him on one level you surely will on another. We all agreed that this would make an incredibly good miniseries; there is just too much information to make it into a 2 hour movie. Very happy with this book!!
When it comes to fiction, my reading preferences usually fall into the thriller genre, something fast-paced. Almost Heaven would not fall into that category. However, it does fall into another small category of mine: one of the best I've read.
Fabry has written a gem. Almost Heaven places its reader into the "so real you can feel it" world of Billy Allman. Billy is a country boy from West Virginia. In the humdrum backwoods of nowhere, his entire life is tragic. We find tragedy in his family, in his friends, and in Billy himself. Unknown to Billy, there's an angel, Malachi, who has been charged to watch over him. But as the story moves on, Malachi seems to be helped more by Billy than the opposite. Malachi and the reader both learn more about the thing Billy has most: faith.
The story traces Billy's life from his first tragic event as a nine year old, to a potentially deadly one when Billy is in his forties. And throughout, there's always the simple faith of a simple man shining into the darkness surrounding them all.
Fabry has done an excellent job in building the character of Billy. Before one gets very far into the story, Billy lives through those pages. I don't think I've connected with any character of any book as quickly and completely as I have with Billy. And the story surrounding Billy draws you in. You'll find yourself going through each emotion and pain with Billy. You'll also find yourself celebrating the victories.
This is easily one of the best works of Christian fiction published in the last few years. Fabry is a master at building characters full of life. The message he weaves into Almost Heaven is realistic and redemptive. You can't go wrong reading this book. I highly recommend Almost Heaven to you.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I love Chris Fabry's writing and I wasn't disappointed in his latest novel, Almost Heaven. A beautiful novel that interweaves June Bug and Dogwood enough to reward his loyal readers, while still remaining a standalone story. Like Fabry's earlier novels, Almost Heaven is peopled with common characters who are extraordinary in their actions. What I love about Fabry's characters is how they respond to things based on an inner strength that reminds us that the most unlikely people can be heroes; especially when they rely on their faith to get them through life. In fact, the characters in Almost Heaven don't have much, so in some ways they better understand how to rely on God. Almost Heaven is told from the points of view of an angel and the character, Billy, who has had an exceptionally difficult life from the time he was a kid. I loved the juxtaposition of the two views. Beautiful, beautiful story.
FIRST BOOK I'VE READ BY THIS AUTHOR, BUT I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. AUTHOR WROTE ABOUT STRUGGLES THAT COULD FACE ANY ONE AND MADE ANGELS REAL TO THE HUMAN BEING. CAN'T WAIT TO TRY OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR.
The book shows courage in face of constant trials.
June 20, 2011
I have read and enjoyed ALMOST HEAVEN. The other three that I received with that order I have only looked at briefly, but plan to read later. ALMOST HEAVEN is outstanding and I said I would recommend it to my friends--but only a select group. In my view, to certain people, the book could be depressive.