My personal opinion:
I could have read this in one sitting, had my family allowed it. I instantly fell in love with this book, with Billy. I cheered for him, I routed for him, I wanted to see him succeed. His story will move you, sometimes to tears sometimes to laughter. But you will be moved. The element I truly loved about this book is the presence of Billy's guardian angel, Malachi. What I believe Fabry does so well is to allow his readers we are being fought for in the spiritual realm, that there is more going on that we can see, but he does not try to explain the inner workings of the divine. I was delighted with this because he does not risk twisting scriptures, but only paints a beautiful picture of God's love and protection of us. This book is a beautiful story of how God uses "the least of these" for incredible things. Not one of us should ever doubt that we are capable of ever being used for a heavenly purpose, if only we will believe and persist without exception, as Andy Andrews says. Fabry's Almost Heaven is one of the most astouding books I have ever read, and I do not say that lightly.
From Chris Fabry:
My new novel is the third book set in Dogwood, West Virginia. There are some characters from both Dogwood and June Bug, but you’ll meet Billy Allman, the central character. This is probably my most difficult novel to write thus far because of thematic issues. It’s also probably my most “Christian” novel, though there are some rough patches throughout. Put on a bluegrass album in the background as you read because there are many tunes that run through the pages. I think you’ll enjoy meeting Billy and his friends.About the Book:
Some people say Billy Allman has a heart of gold. Others say he's a bit odd. The truth is, they're all right. He's a hillbilly genius—a collector, a radio whiz—and he can make the mandolin sing. Though he dreams of making an impact on the world beyond the hills and hollers of Dogwood, West Virginia, things just always seem to go wrong.
But however insignificant Billy's life seems, it has not gone unnoticed. Malachi is an angel sent to observe and protect Billy. Though it's not his dream assignment, Malachi always follows orders. And as Billy's story unfolds, Malachi slowly begins to see the bigger picture—that each step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful song that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.
To read the first chapter of Almost Heaven, click here.
To hear the segment of Chris Fabry Live! that inspired the story, click here.
Thank you Glass Road Public Relations for supplying me with this book to review.