Jack Clayton Campus Missions office staff member couldn't believe his name was associated with a scandal! How did this happen? Why did people want to know so much about him and his past? He didn't ask to be famous. He just wrote the stories of the poor in Norwood. Why couldn't they accept the fact that he didn't do interviews? In the past Jack had many skeletons. I loved it when Jack says "I don't have a few skeletons. I have enough to build a whole skeleton army, and I'm not about to parade them down main street."

The simple life that's all he ever wanted, a waitress shows him her Time magazine; she wants him to sign it. He takes a look, he's on the front cover - Person of the Year? Him? There must be some mistake all he did was write "Laborers of the Orchard" a non-fiction book that sold 18 million copies. Now Arthur his publisher wants him to write his Memoris; he says this is the thing to do. Arthur is already pre-selling it and it's not even written. Jack felt torn. Digging up the past was not what he wanted to do but he sensed that the Lord had other plans for him. The Lord's ways are not our ways Jack was finding out.Jack Clayton tries to explain this to Arthur when he says "Are there issues in your personal life, things you find particularly challenging that you scarcely have strength to face privately? Things you might speak about with a counselor or a clergy man? Now picture working through your issues in front of the whole world, surrounded by Journalists and cameramen. I don't want to go there, do you?"

A dilemma for Jack the pain of unveiling the past; he'd be reviewing things done in his youthful immaturity, things he would rather forget than announce to the whole world! Yet Jack felt this nudging from the Lord to dig and tell. He wanted to be faithful to do His will. He knew that God would forgive him for what he had done - already had. But can he forgive himself?Then an encouraging word in the middle of Jack's storm. "Do something about today. It's the only day we truly have. And if you'll make this day matter for the things Christ taught us you'll be doing what He wants you to and live with purpose. You won't have regrets". Now that was something Jack could hang onto as he faced writing of this Memories, facing the deep pain of the past, the media and Arthur his publisher.

I loved how Chris Coppernoll quickly drew me into Jack Clayton's world and his circumstances. I really enjoyed the hometown feel of the story. I liked how Chris portrayed his characters in the book. They were believable and honest. I cared about them and the town of Providence right from the start. I was encouraged by the many inspiring messages in this book like the one I just quoted. Chris has them throughout the book. You will love Providence the town Chris created, the people that live there and this book.


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