Monday, September 9, 2013

Every Waking Moment by Chris Fabry

     Treha Langsam is a mysterious young woman who has fallen through the cracks, much like many of the elderly people she works with at Desert Gardens Retirement Home. But Miriam Howard, director of the facility, sees her extraordinary gift and untapped potential. Treha is a whisperer of sorts, calling those who have slipped into dementia back to a life of vibrant, if only temporary, clarity.

      When Treha's and Miriam's stories intertwine with a documentary team looking for stories of the elderly, Treha's gift is uncovered, and the search begins for answers to the mysteries of her past. As their paths converge, each person is forced to face the same difficult question: What if this is as good as my life gets? 

      I often spend a lot of time reviewing the newest books set to be published. I do this so that I can bring you some of the best books for my column in the Book Fun Magazine. As I was looking over the books coming out soon, an email come across my desk about a Book Fun Chat that was going on that involved Chris Fabry. I have been fascinated with his work since I read his book, “Not In The Heart”. I do a fair amount of reading (insert laugh here) and there aren’t many that I can say cause me to finish the book right from the moment I crack the book open. That book was one of them. I picked this book up during the chat that night with Chris Fabry over on the Book Fun Network hoping that he was able to recreate that feeling in me again.

      There’s something special going on over at Desert Gardens Retirement Home. Their longtime director, Miriam Howard, is being forced out of her position and into retirement. As Miriam ponders retired life, she begins to reflect on her relationship with her husband. What will it be like to be home with him every day, especially when things between them cause her to feel more as an acquaintance rather than a family. Devin and Jonah are documenting stories of some of the residents that live at the facility. Their goal is to create memories of these residents, and insight into their lives and stories that we will one day never have a record of. The young cleaning lady, Treha, is seemingly bringing some of the residents back from living in a fog with their illnesses. Patients who seem to be lost in the abyss of Dementia or Alzheimer’s are communicating with her, after years of not being able to communicate with anyone. As the lives of these individuals begin to intersect, a secret from one of the residents causes the group to band together to discover the truth. A new director at the retirement home is making lots of changes, changes that may disrupt all that the residents life for. Will Miriam and her husband find common ground during her retirement? Will the documentaries ever make it to the big screen? What secret is hiding in Treha’s background, and what does she know about it? You will never know the answers, but I will, unless you go BUY THE BOOK!!!

      There are a lot of stories going on in this book. I say that to point out just what a great writer Chris Fabry is to be able to juggle these different stories but make sure that they flow together throughout the book and combine seamlessly at the end. I’m not normally a fan or flashbacks or scenes taken outside the normal progression of a story, but the way Chris was able to weave the shooting of the documentary into the book was pretty amazing. As has been true of his last couple of books, Chris paints such vivid descriptions of the surroundings and settings in the book. I truly feel as if he has transported me to that specific location while I’m reading the story, almost as if I’m watching a video of it rather than reading it.

      Is this a "guy's book"? I will admit that this book doesn’t have the traditional “grunt, grunt” man flavor, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that this is a great book. No cars explode, no bombings, no high seas adventure (there is some gun appearances if that helps). But what this book does offer is a truly great read and tells a story that everyone should take a minute to enjoy.

 Chris was nice enough to “sit down and chat” with me awhile and here’s a couple of Q&As from that discussion:

 What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
      I really want readers to walk away with hope for their relationships, their lives, their walk with God. We can live without a lot of things but hope is vital.

 Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
      I love reading, spending time with my family, going on walks, and more reading.

 What advice would you give to a beginning writer?
      Don’t start with a novel or your memoir. Start small. Journal. Write every day. Write for your church newsletter. Blog. Get in the habit of writing. Read every book about writing you can find. Turn off the TV. Get up early and write. Draw closer to God. Use your conversations with him as opportunity to write from the heart. Remember, you don’t write to tell people what you believe, you write in order to discover what you really believe.

 Favorite memory from childhood?
      Walking the suspension bridge between Covington, KY and Cincinnati, going to a baseball game with my father and brothers.

 Favorite comfort food? 
     Strawberry banana smoothies with plain yogurt.

 About the Author: 

 Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris' novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, and his latest release, Borders of the Heart, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it's his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.

 He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.

 I received this book from and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review, it was just easy to do since this is a great book.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that sounds really interesting! I have never heard of it before, but I think in going to go check it out!