The Shepherd's Song    -     By: Betsy Duffey, Laurie Myers
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The Shepherd's Song

Howard Books / 2014 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Shortly before a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote down the powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper for her wayward son. Just before she loses consciousness, Kate wonders if she's done enough with her life and prays, "Please, let my life count."

Unbeknownst to Kate, her handwritten copy of Psalm 23 soon begins a remarkable journey around the world. From a lonely dry cleaning employee to a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing her country, to a Kenyan runner in the Rome Invitational marathon, this humble message forever changes the lives of twelve very different people. Eventually, Kate's paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God changes lives, even through the smallest gestures.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 225
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 5.00 X 8.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1476738203
ISBN-13: 9781476738208
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Shortly before suffering a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote the simple but powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper to give to her wayward and confused son. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . As she loses consciousness from her injuries, she wonders if she’s done enough with her life.

When a lonely dry-cleaning employee finds Kate’s humble, handwritten copy of the psalm, it begins an incredible journey around the world, forever changing the lives of twelve very different people. From a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing with her family to Turkey, to a Kenyan runner about to begin the Rome Invitational Marathon, the power of the ancient words begins to take shape in various ways, drawing us into these stories inexplicably linked by the passing of the psalm from one recipient to the next.

Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God moves and changes lives through even our smallest actions.

Author Bio

Betsy Duffey is a licensed counselor and worked for four years with homeless women, often using writing as a tool for healing. Over the years Betsy has spoken at hundreds of elementary schools and has shared her ideas with countless women’s groups. She lives with her husband in Atlanta, Georgia. They have two grown sons. Betsy and her sister, Laurie Myers, write together as the Writing Sisters. Laurie Myers has spoken extensively in elementary schools across the nation, sharing her love of reading and writing. She has a passion for helping those in need, working as a nurse, tutoring incarcerated youth, and cofounding an urban school. Laurie lives with her husband in Augusta, Georgia. They have three grown children. Laurie and her sister, Betsy Duffey, write together as the Writing Sisters.

Editorial Reviews

"Lyrical prose is the highlight of Duffey and Myers’ novel, which addresses the power that God’s scripture can have on an individual’s heart. Kate is a strong and noble catalyst for the cast of distinctive, diverse characters who undergo a powerful change in their lives. An intriguing faith-based plot caps off this inspiring read."
“Authors Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers will engage your heart as you follow Kate McConnell's handwritten copy of Psalm 23 on its journey through the lives of twelve heart-sick people before landing back in the hands of the son for whom it was originally intended. Fast-paced, without rushing their readers, they skillfully bring into view the Good Shepherd who is able to strengthen the weak, bind up the injured, and bring back the lost (Ezekiel 34:4–6). This book claims to tell of twelve changed lives. Make that thirteen—mine.” —Jani Ortlund, Author of Fearlessly Feminine, Executive Vice President, Renewal Ministries
The Shepherd’s Song is a powerful collection of stories interconnected by a single force which has power and strength. Read this fascinating book as seemingly disparate lives are interconnected, not by chance, but by a singular expression of a powerful portion of the word of God. Prepare for your life to be blessed as you read this wonderful book.” —Frank S. Page, Ph.D., President & CEO, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee
The Shepherd's Song is about an uncommon piece of paper that encircles the globe, providentially changing lives—including the reader's. The message is sutured into the reader’s psyche by the masterful use of metaphors, irony, and a never-ending roller coaster of emotions. This single fabric of short stories would make a great movie by an all-star cast.” —Stanley D. Williams, PhD, Film Producer-Director, Author of The Moral Premise
"One of the most unusual and delightful novels I have ever read." —Jennifer Rees Larcombe
"This is not at all the type of book I would normally read, yet I found it remarkably compelling from the outset. Rarely have I read a novel which so poignantly juxtaposes tragedy with hope without becoming excessively sentimental or mawkish. It is an effortless read, but not an easy one—harrowing and uplifting by turns, it is impossible not to be moved by its artlessly engaging narrative. The characters are believable and likeable, each one deftly painted with a few expert strokes. The chain of connected storylines convincingly shows how one simple and apparently futile act of love can release a deluge of redemption and reconciliation. It is sure to challenge the assumptions of readers with a religious faith and those without. I loved it." —Jill Hudson, author of The Last Queen of Sheba

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. Chicago, IL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Touching but Left Me Wanting More
    May 21, 2014
    Chicago, IL
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    While I found the concept of The Shepherd's Song quite interesting, I felt let down by the end. Not because it wasn't well written or because the characters in each vignette were boring. To the contrary The Shepherd's Song was well written and the characters were interesting. I simply like more words and backdrop and detail and with a lack of words and details, I just didn't feel enough of a hook to engage entirely.

    Within the short pages of The Shepherd's Song we encounter several families, for the briefest of moments, each dealing with a crisis of some kind; each struggling to make sense of traumatic events in their lives; each comforted, in a very personal way, by the words to Psalm 23. As quickly as the reader enters the context of one family we're whisked away to glimpse the circumstances of the next. I wanted more time to sit with them, get to know them, and unearth more layers of detail.

    (I received this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Book
    April 5, 2014
    Jo Huddleston
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    With concern for her wayward son, Kate McConnell writes the words of Psalm 23, folds the sheet of paper, and tucks it into the jacket pocket of her son. When that same jacket goes to the dry cleaners, Kate fails to empty its pockets. Thus begins a trip around the world of her note for her son, changing the lives of twelve people. Duffey and Myers write excellent variations of characters, settings, and cultures. For those who read this book, many times twelve lives will be changed for the better. If you like reading Andy Andrews, you'll love this book!
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Your Life Matters
    April 1, 2014
    Melissa
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What a beautiful story.

    From the first few pages my heart was captured by the message of this book.

    Have you ever wondered if your life really makes a difference? I think we all have. This book will encourage you to believe that you are making a difference in ways and in people's lives that you have never met or imagined.

    You will follow one piece of paper as it makes it way across the world and see how God's Word can transforms lives. I love how each chapter is really like a short story all by its self. But each chapter is connected by the Word of God. With each page turn I wondered how was the paper going to reach someone new and how would it touch their lives?

    Everyone has a story, as I believe with all my heart, and this book shares the stories of broken individuals in need of hope and who find it in the best place possible, the Word of God.

    If you enjoy stories that encourage, you will love A Shepherd's Song.

    A copy of this book was given to me by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
  4. NC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Hearts, lives and relationships changed.
    March 22, 2014
    Wanda
    NC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Shepherd's Song is based on the 23rd Psalm. One Psalm that means so much to so many people. The book starts with Kate McConnell, a wife and mother, whose son fell away from God when he started college. Kate was constantly encouraging Matt and trying to help him find God again. On that fateful morning, Kate slipped a paper into Matt's coat pocket. On it she had carefully and meticulously written the words of Psalm 23. The paper was left in his coat pocket when she took it to the cleaners and, soon after, Kate was involved in a multi-vehicle accident on the interstate. She felt like her life didn't matter, that she hadn't accomplished anything for God's ministry. Little did she know that tiny slip of paper she had toiled over so tediously while writing Psalm 23 was on its way around the world and would change many lives in the process.

    I love the concept of this book. It reminded me of a commercial I saw once about one person doing a kind deed for someone else and that person doing a kind deed for another person and so on and so forth. It snowballed and the kind deeds just kept spreading. It was called "Pay it Forward" and I have never forgotten it. I don't think I will ever forget this book either. One simple, but very significant, piece of paper with Psalm 23 written on it travels from Baltimore to Iraq to Turkey and Italy, weaving it's way back home to touch the very life it was intended for in the beginning. It heals hearts, lives and relationships. It helps a soldier in Iraq make peace with the death of a friend in battle. It helps a lonely old man move on after the death of his beloved wife. It helps a victim of abuse in Barcelona. One little piece if paper weaves together hearts and lives that will forever be changed. Each verse represents a different story of restoration, hope, courage and love. I have never seen Psalm 23 told in quite the same way and I was so encouraged by the stories of the people within this book. They found hope when there was none and the courage to make it through but, most importantly, they found their way to God. Whether they didn't believe in God at all or they had just lost Him somewhere along the way, they came to know Him in a whole new and powerful way. Betsy and Laurie usually write children's books and this is their very first adult fiction book. I think they hit a home run with The Shepherd's Song and I hope this isn't their only attempt to reach out to adult readers. I was enthralled and excited to keep reading to find out who was impacted next. I don't believe you can read this book and not be encouraged. I also don't believe you can read it and not have your faith strengthened. I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves stories of faith.

    Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. If I recommend a book it's simply because I love it. I received no monetary compensation for this review.
  5. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Stories within The Story.
    March 17, 2014
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book begins with several scenes from the perspective of Kate McConnell, and the scenes are made up of her impressions.

    Sounds: sirens and then doctors telling her to "Stay with them," and sights: worried faces of nervous paramedics and then hospital walls, and feelings: pain, and fog, and trying to fight her way up through it...

    Kate had just been freed from her car after an interstate pile-up.

    It had been a busy, snowy, yet happy day for her. True, life had been a bit difficult recently: Kate was worried about her college-age son, and her husband wasn't able to help her in that department. So Kate had taken the time to sow yet another good seed in Mark's life.

    She had written out Psalm 23 and slipped it in his coat, praying that he would find it at an unexpected moment and be touched by it.

    For Kate, that was a characteristic action, to reach out to someone with a word and a kind gesture.

    Yet she still wondered if what she did really made an impact. Did those ordinary little acts leave any lasting marks on the lives around her?

    And then the focus zooms out, as it were, and we leave Kate while she is being prepped for surgery.

    It is time to follow that folded piece of plain white paper with the eternal words penned on it in a hopeful mother's handwriting.

    Kate's "ordinary little act" is about to travel the world and invite everyone who reads it to come closer to God.

    Psalm 23 moves from dry-cleaner-destined-coat to envelope headed overseas. It is passed hand-to-hand, blown by a sand-storm in the desert and thrown out a hotel room window. The men and women that it comes to are in an olive grove on the Gulf of Naples, a military base hospital, running in a marathon in Italy and waiting their turn in a tattoo parlor in Barcelona, just to start with. Psalm 23 found one man in the valley of the shadow with a suicide plan. It found a young woman who had always feared the evil that had abused her so thoroughly in the past.

    For one recipient, the Psalm was about the peace offered in the green pastures.

    For another, the Psalm spoke of a Shepherd who cared for ALL the sheep with tenderness. For another who was deep in grief, Psalm 23 was about the restoration of the soul.

    And each of these short stories-within-the-story is beautiful. This isn't a fluff book at all, the characters, even in the brief glimpses we get, are solid and rough around the edges. And the insight is deep. The authors crushed the grapes of Scripture here and pressed out new wine from the beloved Psalm of comfort. This story makes you sad and happy at once. The Shepherd's Song is a pleasure to read.

    Thank you Howard books for my review copy!
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