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"I've found the only thing I can control is how well I tell the story and follow the truth... The truth will always lead you to a good place." Truman Wiley used to report news stories around the world, but now the troubling headlines are his own. He's out of work and out of touch with his family, but nothing keeps him awake at night more than his son's failing heart. With hospital bills mounting faster than Truman can gamble his life savings, it seems there's no way out... until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline--the chance to write the
"I've found the only thing I can control is how well I tell the story and follow the truth... The truth will always lead you to a good place." Truman Wiley used to report news stories around the world, but now the troubling headlines are his own. He's out of work and out of touch with his family, but nothing keeps him awake at night more than his son's failing heart. With hospital bills mounting faster than Truman can gamble his life savings, it seems there's no way out... until his estranged wife throws him a lifeline--the chance to write the story of a death row inmate willing to donate his heart to Truman's son. As the execution clock ticks, Truman uncovers disturbing evidence that may point to a different killer. For his son to live, must an innocent man die? As Truman's investigation escalates, he's forced to face his failures and make a choice that will change his life, his family, and the destinies of two men forever.
The trouble with my wife began when she needed Jesus and I needed a cat. Life can be that way. That's part of the reason I was on Sanibel island in the cottage I had always dreamed of owning and she was in Tallahassee tending to the sick son of our youth. But it's more complicated. There was more troubling me than religion or people who think problems can be solved with a leap of faith.
Said cottage was a tiny house that seems to be the rage among those who believe we are warming the planet with each exhale. I didn't buy it because of that, but I recycle my Coors Light cans. My little contribution to the cause. Lately it's been a hefty contribution. there was one bedroom in the back and a little bathroom, a walk-through kitchen, and a living area that I used as an office. Murrow usually sat in the window looking out at the beach with as much interest as I have in paying both of my mortgages. It's not that I don't want to pay. I can't.
I was on the bed, surfing news sites, fueling the ache about my lack of direction and lack of a job. The satellite TV company disconnected me a few months ago, so I got my news online from the unprotected network of a neighbor who can't encrypt his wireless router.
I could see the downsizing coming in every area of the conglomerate media company. I knew it would hit the newsroom, but I always thought when the music stopped, I would have a chair. what I got was severance, a pat on the back, and a shelf full of awards I stuffed into a suitcase that sat in the attic of a cottage I couldn't afford.
I closed my laptop and told Murrow I'd be back, as if she cared, and walked barefoot out the front door and down the long, wooden stairway to the beach. I bought this cottage for these long, head-clearing walks. The sound of the waves crashing against doubts and fears. The smell of the ocean and its salty cycle of life and death.
A mom and a dad dressed in white strolled along the beach with two kids who squealed every time the water came close.
I walked the other way.
The phone rang as I passed a dead seagull. Not a good omen.
"Tru, it's me."
The woman of my dreams. The woman of my nightmares. Everything good and bad about my life. The "I do" that "I didn't."
"Ellen, what's up?"
"How are you?" She said it with a measure of compassion, as if she weren't holding back years of boiling anger. As if she didn't have something else she wanted to ask me and wasn't just setting the stage for the coup de grâce.
"I'm good. Just taking a walk on the beach."
Wish you weren't here. Wish you weren't still in my head. Wish you hadn't called. Wish the last twenty years were something I could bury in the sand. What were you thinking marrying a guy like me? My life is a sand castle and my days are wind and water.
"Hear anything back yet? Any offers?"
"There's nothing plural about my job prospects. Not even singular. I did hear from the Fox station in Des Moines yesterday. They went with somebody with longer hair and bigger lungs."
She spoke with a wry smile. "It's only a matter of time; you know that."
"Right. It's always been a matter of time, hasn't it?"
She let the irony hang there between us, and I could picture her in her wedding dress and without it. Then the first time we met in the university newsroom, big glasses and frilly blouse. Hair that smelled like the ocean and felt like silk. A sharp wit, infectious laugh, and the tenacity of a bloodhound on every story she covered. I thought we were always going to be on the same page, but somehow I kept chasing headlines and she moved to the Life section.
"I have something that might interest you," she said.
"How old is she?" I'm not always a smart aleck with the people I love. When I'm asleep, they tell me I don't say much of anything.
"It's not a she. It's a he with a pretty good story. A great story. A life changer."
"Not into guys."
She sighed and plowed ahead. "Have you heard of Terrelle Conley?"
That was like asking a history major if she'd ever heard of Alexis de Tocqueville. "I know he's facing the needle."
"Right. Next month."
"Wonder what his last meal will be. How do they choose that anyway? shrimp and steak or lobster bisque? Macaroni and cheese? How can you enjoy a meal knowing you only have hours left? Or what movie to watch? what would you choose?"
"I know his wife, Oleta. She wants somebody to write the story from his perspective. The whole family does."
I laughed. "in thirty days or less."
"They've scraped up some money. Not much, but it could probably help."
"How much is 'probably'?"
"I don't know exactly, but I was thinking you could call Gina and find out if—"
"I'm not with Gina or the agency anymore. She dropped me. Said it was a hard decision on their part. I guess they took a vote."
"Just another bump in the literary highway. I don't think writing is my thing, anyway." I said it halfheartedly, coaxing some kind of compliment.
"You're a great writer," she obliged. "You haven't had as many opportunities lately, but ..."
"I haven't had any politicians who want to be president or sports stars who've been accused of steroids approach me in a few years. that's what you mean," I said. "Where did you meet Olatha?"
"Oleta. I met her at church."
Groan. How did I know that was coming?
I paused at a sand castle that had been constructed with several five-gallon buckets. Towels and chairs had been abandoned for the moment. Water filled the moat, and I heard laughter from a bungalow perched like a lighthouse above. A couple in love.
"You must have some idea of how much."
"A few thousand. We didn't talk about that. The important thing ... it's not just an opportunity for you. It's for Aiden."
"Now you're really getting cryptic. You want to back up?"
"Terrelle's wife is in a study group with me. She's known about Aiden's condition for years. Always asks for updates. Terrelle came up with the idea—he wants to be a donor. A second chance for Aiden."
I should have been doing cartwheels. Our eighteen-year-old son could get a new lease on life? instead, I was skeptical, like any good journalist. "Ellen, there's no chance. Do you know how long something like that would take?"
"It's been in process for a while."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"You haven't exactly been available."
"The prison system, the authorities, they'll never let this—"
"The governor is taking it seriously. I've heard he's working with the legislature. It's not a done deal, but there's a chance."
The governor. The hair rose on the back of my neck.
"Ellen, there's some law firm in Tallahassee salivating at all the appeals and counterappeals that are going to happen. This is less than a long shot."
"Yeah, but right now it's looking like a pretty good long shot." There was emotion in her voice and for the first time I noticed noise in the background.
"Where are you?"
She swallowed hard and I imagined her wiping away a tear. My wife has had plenty of practice.
"At the hospital again," she said. "ICU."
I cursed under my breath and away from the phone. Not just because of all the hospital bills I knew were coming my way, but also because this was my son. I'll be honest—the bills were the first thing I thought of, but picturing him hooked up to tubes and needles again crushed me.
"How is he?"
"Not good. They're monitoring him. Same story."
"How long have you been there?"
"Since late last night. He was having trouble breathing. Lots of pain. He asks about you."
Guilt. She had to get that in there, didn't she?
"Tell him to hang in there, okay?"
"Come see him. It would mean so much."
"Yeah. I will." I said it fast, though I knew I'd have to launder all the cat hair from my clothes because Aiden's deathly allergic to cats just like I'm allergic to the inside of the death chamber.
Someone spoke over the intercom near her and the sound took me back to those first days when I wasn't as scared of hospitals. Back then I could watch a movie or a TV show with a medical setting. Now I can't even watch the TV promos. My chest gets tight and the smell of alcohol and Betadine and the shape of needles invades, mingling with the cries of a young child in pain and another memory of a man on a gurney.
We discovered Aiden's heart malady by accident. Ellen was into natural food, natural medicine, whole-grain seaweed sandwiches and eggs that came from free-range chickens who had bedtime stories read to them each night before they settled into their nests. Natural childbirth with a midwife. All that stuff. She was convinced antibiotics were the forbidden fruit, so she didn't run to the HMO every time our kids were sick. But something told her to take Abby in for some chest congestion she couldn't get rid of. Aiden was with her, and on a lark the doctor placed the stethoscope on his chest.
Ellen cried when she tried to explain the look on the woman's face. They'd missed it when he was born.
That sent us on a crash course of congenital heart defects and a series of surgeries and treatments that would change our lives.
Ellen hates hospitals as much as I do, but you do what you must for your kids.
"Terrelle has the same blood type," Ellen said. "He's about the same size as Aiden, maybe a little smaller, which is good."
"Ellen, you know this is not going to happen, right? there are so many hoops and holes. They don't let doctors execute people."
"There are guidelines, but they don't have a problem harvesting organs from an already-deceased donor."
"Anybody who's pro-life will howl. I thought you were pro-life."
"I am, but this is something Terrelle wants."
"Doesn't matter. They harvest organs from prisoners in China, but we're not in China." Though you wouldn't know it by shopping at Walmart.
"I know all that. But I also know my son is going to die. And Terrelle and his wife want something good to come out of their tragedy. They asked if you would write his story. I got to thinking that maybe ..."
She broke a little and hearing her cry felt like some lonely prayer drifting away and hitting the empty shores of heaven. Not that I believe there is one, but you know, metaphorically speaking.
"You were thinking what?" I said.
"Maybe all of this is not really for Aiden. Maybe all we've been through in the last eighteen years is for somebody else. If they deny Terrelle's request and Aiden doesn't make it, maybe writing this story will make a difference for someone down the road."
Her altruism was more than I could handle. "Look, I don't care about all the people with sick kids. I don't care about prisoners who want to make up for their crimes. I don't care about protesters or the politicians who've found a wedge issue. I just want my son to live. Is that asking too much?"
The emotion surprised me and I noticed the family in white had changed direction but now quickly herded their children away from me.
It was Ellen's turn to sound collected. "Do you have time to work on something like that in the next thirty days? It would at least pay a few bills."
"If they're trying to get a stay of execution, they need to go straight to the press. Forget a book deal, forget a magazine exposé—it's already too late. Get somebody at one of the local stations to pick it up and run with it—"
"Tru, they don't want a stay. He wants to give his heart to Aiden. And somebody has to get the story down before it's over. No matter how it goes, this will make a great story."
I was already mulling titles in my head. A Heart from Death Row. Change of Heart. Pitter-Pat. Life in Vein. Aorta Made a Better Choice.
She continued, "they know your history. What you've seen. How you're against the death penalty and why. For all your faults, tru, you're the best reporter I've ever known. You get to the heart of the story like nobody else. I think you should consider it."
The Heart of the Story. Another good title. I could tell she was buttering me up. I love being buttered up by lovely women. But I hate the complications of life with beautiful women.
"I don't write evangelical tracts."
"Why are you so stubborn?" She whisper-screamed at me. Her voice had an echo like she had moved into the bathroom or stairwell.
"Why do you have to look at this as some kind of spiritual conspiracy against you instead of a gift? this is being handed to you on a platter. Don't push it away. I don't care if you agree with them about God. You didn't agree with every sports figure or politician."
"The only way I know how to do this job is to ferret out the truth and tell it. Flat out. The way I see it. And if you're expecting me to throw in the third verse of a hymn every other chapter and quote the Gospel of Terrelle, I can't do that. Call somebody from the Christian right."
"Tru, it's because of who you are and how you tell the story that they want you. Just talk with her. Let her explain. If you don't like the situation, they'll go somewhere else. But they have to act quickly."
The sun was coming down behind me and the wind picked up off the water. I could smell the first hint of an impending storm. Or maybe I forgot my deodorant.
"I'll think about it."
I hadn't been gone that long, but as I walked up the stairs, I heard a vehicle pulling away from the house. The taillights had disappeared into the distance by the time I made it to my front door.
Murrow was still in the window, looking down on me with that superior look. Humans are such a waste of oxygen, she seemed to say. Maybe she was right. Maybe we are a waste of oxygen and the best thing would be for us to be wiped from the planet. But something inside said that wasn't true. Something inside pushed me to keep moving, like an ant dragging a piece of grass along the sidewalk until a strong wind blows it away. The ant picks up another and starts over. I get exhausted just watching them.
On the front door was a legal document stating that whereby and forthwith said mortgage company had begun said process with an intent to foreclose and otherwise vacate said occupant's tail onto the street to wit and wheretofore so help them God, amen. I had received several such letters in the mail, filing them carefully, hoping the rising tide of foreclosures would save my little cottage until I got a new job.
I ripped the notice down and used it to wipe the sand from my feet. And then a thought struck. A horrible, no-good, bad thought. the newspaper. They published my name with each intent to foreclose. that meant others would know where I was. Others, as in people I owed. Bad people.
Another car passed, slowly. Tinted windows. A low rumble of expensive metal and fuel.
I hurried to the back of the little house and pulled out every suitcase I could find and stowed everything of value. Books. Pictures of me with newsmakers. Cloudy memories of trips abroad, war zones, interviews with generals and dignitaries who went on to fame or perished in motorcades that didn't make it through IEDs.
It was hard not to sit and absorb the memories, but the passing car gave urgency. I jammed every journal and notebook in with the pictures, then put one suitcase with clothes in the trunk of my car and took the rest on my shoulder down the sandy path to the Grahams' house. Sweet people. He retired from the Air Force and they moved for the sun and salty air. Both should have died long ago from arthritis and other maladies, but they were out walking the beach every day like two faithful dogs, paw in paw.
Jack and Millie were on the front porch, and I asked if I could borrow some space in their garage for a suitcase or two. "I need to take a trip. Someone new will be living in my house."
"No, someone from the Bank of America wants it."
Millie struggled to get out of her rocker and stood by a white column near the front door. "If you need help, Truman, we'd be glad to."
Jack nodded and the gesture almost brought tears to my eyes. "How much are you short?" he said.
"Just a spot in the garage is all I need."
"What about your cat?" Millie said.
"Murrow's going with me."
"If we can do anything at all ...," Jack's voice trailed. "I appreciate it. I appreciate both of you. Thanks for your kindness."
"We pray for Aiden every day," Millie said.
The garage was spotless. Everything hanging up or neatly placed on shelves. I should have joined the Air Force. In the back I found an empty space near some gardening tools. I shook Jack's hand gently and gave Millie a hug. I only turned and looked at them once as I walked back to the house. They stood like sentinels, the fading light of the sun casting a golden glow around them and their house.
Excerpted from NOT IN THE HEART by CHRIS FABRY Copyright © 2012 by Chris Fabry. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted July 6, 2012
Don't give up!
Honestly, i wanted to stop reading after the first couple of chapters. I didn't like Truman (except that he loved cats!) and I really didn't think I would enjoy the story. Thankfully, I kept reading. Truman is a self-absorbed writer, who gambles, drinks, and seems to care little for his family. Even though his son is dying, Truman still doesn't really want to be involved with his family. However, a book deal brings him home and forces him to face his own life and family. The twist at the end really caught me by surprise. I encouragge everyone to give this book a chance to impact your life.
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Posted July 21, 2013
Posted May 8, 2013
I didn't understand the title until the end, when I let out an audible, "Oh!.......Awww!" He is an incredible wordsmith--I was constantly reading aloud to my husband because there was just so much I had to share with someone. I HIGHLY recommend this one!!!
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Posted July 30, 2012
Posted July 10, 2012
Truman Wiley. Once a famous and celebrated newsman, he has separated from his wife, is estranged from his two children (one of whom is awaiting a heart transplant), and has a dangerous gambling problem. Oh yeah, and he loves cats.
He is approached to write the story of a death row inmate who wants to donate his heart post execution to Truman's son. As he delves deeper into the story, the information he discovers just may reveal a different killer - but if it does, what will happen his son?
I LOVED this book. I loved the mystery, the heartache, the moral dilemma....all well written and touching - I can't say enough good things about this book. You must get it and see for yourself!
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Posted September 6, 2013
You know how people who aren't religious think that pushy Christians are always up in their face? Well, in this book, there's a reason for that. The main character is not a churchgoer, and the other characters in the story are always shoving their beliefs in his face.
This is Christian fiction, written for (evangelical) Christians. Even the main character who, as I said, is not a believer, sometimes uses evangelical-speak, and spouts something no non-Christian would ever say, such as how he could tell from a newspaper article that his estranged wife was fully leaning on God's providence.
The main character has a gambling addiction, and keeps running out on his family. He confronts an ethical dilemma. The Christians are preachy and heavy-handed. The villains are suitably slimy, although one (the blonde Germanic thug) is cartoonish.
The story would be better, in my opinion, if the author turned down the proselytizing and the unsubtle allusions to Scripture. A novel can be Christian without being heavyhanded.
Posted August 31, 2013
Posted August 30, 2013
Posted August 8, 2013
Posted August 1, 2013
Excellent Fiction from an Excellent Author. What an emotional, I would even say heart-wrenching story, with tough decisions, and suspense right to the end. I’ve read other books by Chris Fabry, and I'm always impressed with his writing. This book is absorbing, and I felt very connected with the characters. It had tragic situations, and reflected how real people would (or might) think and react. The conclusion surprised me. I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 22, 2012
A young woman was horrifically murdered, and now a man sits on death row to pay for it. As a final act of repentance and generosity, the prisoner offers to donate his heart to the son of an unemployed journalist with one catch: the journalist must write the prisoner's story, including the man's refusal to confess to the murder.
Willing to do anything to save his son's heart, the journalist begins to tell the story of one man losing his life, and ends by discovering his own life - complete with its flaws, joys, and connections to people he hadn't dreamed existed.
This story is filled with messy lives and tangled emotions. Parents losing their children. Children losing their parents. Employees losing jobs. Gamblers losing money. Men and women losing their spouses. Everyone losing hope. And all the sorrow and loss slipping into a huge void that only one thing can fill. Only, there aren't very many who recognize the answer staring them in the face.
This book hurt to read. I cried. There is so much sorrow in the world, and this book holds up a mirror to it. Yet, like Pandora's box, at the bottom of this book is hope. A hope massive enough to carry the mystery story, one man's searchings, and an unimaginable ending on its back. The author does a masterful job telling a story which opens a door past sympathy for those who are hurting, and into empathy for what they are feeling; past cynicism as to the future, and into a hope beyond understanding.
Like all doors, you must be willing to walk through it.
I highly recommend it.
Posted July 17, 2012
The quote from Tom Stoppard “Life is a gamble, at terrible odds – if it was a bet, you wouldn't take it” starts off this latest novel by Chris Fabry.
Truman comes across as a very selfish man, caring for himself rather than for his wife who is the sole caregiver for their son, Aiden, who was born with congenital heart disease, and at the age of eighteen years old is on the list for a heart transplant and their daughter Abigail. I had a hard time connecting with Truman for this reason. In contrast to this, Ellen his wife is approachable as a mother trying to do all she can to save her son, while also being their for her daughter. Terrell is someone you are anxious for, a guy that you hope will get a second chance.
Yet in spite of that I found Not in the Heart to be an emotional, edge of your seat novel as Chris takes us through the legal quagmire of organ donors, innocent men on death row and the families of those who are facing a sure imminent death. The tension was so tight, that even thinking about it a while later, I need to remind myself to relax, and take a deep breath. The twists and turns kept me reading long after I should have put it down. But this is not a novel only of doom and gloom and darkness. Chris Fabry writes a novel of hope and redemption.
I believe that the sign of a excellent novel is one where you remember the characters long after you are finished reading it, and this is one of those.
Posted July 16, 2012
Monday, July 16, 2012Not in the Heart
So nice to hear from a West Virginia native and Marshall graduate.
As a reader, this book surprised me. The similes, analogies, and metaphors make this story stand out from others. Mr. Fabry has a wonderful, dry, sarcastic sense of humor that draws readers in. It was difficult to put this book down. Mr. Fabry even creates his own vocabulary( like Reaganesque) to get his point across. Also, a nice reference to Nicholas Sparks. Mr. Fabry also does a top job at twisting the plot shocking the reader.
The story is about one man and his way home to the Lord. Through trials and tribulations (probably more than one human can bear), Truman contemplates legacy, significance, and faith. This tale speaks to the heart (no pun intended). Possibly one of the best books I have read in the Christian fiction genre.
This book will transform readers. All one can do is respond in faith. I enthusiastically recommend this book.
Posted July 2, 2012
Truman Wiley used to be at the top of his world - a loving family, accolades and recognition for his gritty news reporting, but the gambling that began as a needed release from job pressures and worry over his son's weakening heart grew into a life-destroying addiction. Now jobless and seriously in debt to a moster, Tru must face that he has abandoned his family and his only son may soon die. Despite being at the bottom, he still cannot accept the whole life commitment his wife has made to God. When she contacts him saying a deathrow inmate, set to die in just a few days, wants Truman to write his story and then he will donate his heart so that Aiden can live, Truman still cannot see the Lord's hand in the process. Reluctantly, he accepts the task of meeting Terrelle in prison, and as the story unfolds, Truman begins to doubt the man's guilt As the days slip away, he realizes that helping Terrelle may mean death for his own son.
Every book I've read by Chris Fabry has a solid story with tough dilemnas and this one tops the list. Truman is given a sliver of an opening to reclaim his life, an opening that he keeps throwing away by trips to the casino and other bad choices, but he keeps being pulled back into the project of telling Terrelle's story, a story that will take you from the broken down trailer of a hopeless drunk to the governor's mansion to Aiden's faintly lit ICU room to the cold hallways of the prison. In many thrillers, I am quite sure of the ending before the ending (isn't that the purpose of a whodunit?), but I did not know for sure what would happen in this book until it actually happened. Does that make it good writing or an implausible scenario? Fans of the book will definitely say it is Fabry's mastery at work.
Saying anymore would take away the impact of reading this story of mistakes, regrets, mended hearts and second chances (and justice.)
Posted June 28, 2012
Posted June 15, 2012
“I’ve found the only thing I can control is how well I tell the story and follow the truth. . . . The truth will always lead you to a good place.”--Truman Wiley, lead character in "Not In The Heart"
Welcome to the world of a gifted, out-of-work investigative reporter and writer who is estranged from his family that needs him desperately and which he needs desperately. A world of devastating illness, addiction, crime, love, trust, distrust, societal struggles with organ donation, and the world of the condemned on death row.
This book has overlapping plot lines and character development that will leave your mind reeling and won't allow you to put it down for long at a time before you are drawn to pick it up again.
Chris Fabry has done it again! He has created a tale that stabs at our heart's door and jogs our conscience with issues that we sometimes don't want to face. Issues to which we and society as a whole don't really have clear-cut answers.
As this plot unfolds, so do the scars of life come to the surface and a healing of soul begins to take place. Personal healing of relationships between father and daughter, father and son, wife and husband. Healing of a soul in need of a redeemer but which struggles with accepting that redemption and forgiveness.
No peaking at the back of this book for it's exciting conclusion. This is a read in which you will not be disappointed.
Who is Chris Fabry?
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... Read Full Bio
Addiction: The main male character in this book, Truman, is addicted. His addiction is gambling. Most of us have someone in our lives who are addicted to something. Growing up in a conservative Christian home, there were few addictions and vices with which we had to deal. There were, however, a number of "smokers." Chain smokers light up one cigarette after another, finish meals with a smoke, and begin and end the day with a smoke. Addicted? Certainly. Most of the time smoking is not something that ruins families like drinking, gambling, immorality. But it is addicting, and it has a lasting, detrimental affect.
I was provided a complimentary an advance reader copy of "Not In The Heart" by Tyndale House Publishers in order to provide a review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.
Posted June 12, 2012
Intriguing! Interesting! Though Provoking! These are the words that come to my mind when describing Not in the Heart by Chris Fabry. This is a book that is so different than others I have read. It is not romance, historical, or even really suspense, I am no sure what genre I would put it in. This is truly an excellent book that left me thinking. The book deals with the death penalty and an inmate who the word thinks is guilty but he know he is innocent but has accepted he is going to die and trusts God that he knows what he is doing. In the end all he wants to do is to be able to donate his heart to a young man and to tell his story. Though through all this Truman, the guy that is going to tell his story finds out he may be innocent and is caught with the decision to do the right thing. The ending in this book came at a total surprise, I thought I had an idea of how it would all turn out but not at all in the way it did. This is a story of redemption, forgiveness, right and wrong, and healing. This is a great book when you are looking for something to make you think, it is not light and fluffy but the story does flow well.
Final Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars!
*I received this book through FIRST wild card tours and B&B Media group for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
Posted December 28, 2012
Posted March 28, 2012
I have enjoyed Chris Fabry's career. He's had a long career in Christian broadcasting and as an author. I've always enjoyed his perspective. He's real, somewhat humorous, and approaches faith from a humble perspective. But, this is the first novel of Chris' that I read, to my regret.
Chris tells the story of Truman Wiley, a world-class journalist whose life is in a shambles. His son is dying of a heart disease. His marriage is on the rocks because of his own poor choices, and he's got a gambling problem that has stripped away his dignity. But he's got one more chance to do something redemptive with his life. This is an authentic, earthly novel about a man's search for meaning and purpose. It's a riveting, rollicking, real-world tale, full of humor and grace.
I enjoyed Not In the Heart from the very first page. I was captivated by its twists and turns, the suspense, the drama, the intrigue. It's some of the best fiction I've read in a long time. Not predictable. The writing is tight, crisp, and original. And the subtle message underneath points to the only hero of our life stories: Jesus Christ.
Posted March 3, 2012
Truman had the motivation to become important in the journalism field. He wrote for top notch publishers, while his wife Ellen and their 2 children Abby and Aidan took the back burner. Rarely around to celebrate family events, often on a mission to gain the next big story, Truman missed out on much of what could have been. Born with a congenital heart defect, Aidan has suffered for years with the recurring surgeries to keep him alive. Now it has come down to his needing a transplant to make it through his 18th year of life.
There is an inmate on death row, Terrelle whose wife Oleta has gotten to know Ellen. As she shares Aidan's story with Terrelle, he decides to give his heart to Aidan after the execution. Terrelle however is innocent and retains that till the end. The courts had an open and closed case. Terrelle was a drunk on the street, a no good loser that a murder was easy to peg on. In a drunken stupor how could he remember if he killed Diana or not?
Ellen draws a now outcast Truman, living alone, out of work, out of money into their lives once again in hopes of reconcilliation by asking Truman to write Terrelle's story.
Chris Fabry has done an remarkable job of allowing us to see deeply into these characters. He lets us deep into the lives of Truman and his lack-luster life. Of the things that could have been, and the mistakes Truman has made with his gambling addiction. An addiction that has left him without family or job. We get into the mind of Ellen, hurt repeatedly by Truman, but with her new faith in Christ is unable to give up on the man she once loved. Some books are big into describing the scenery, making you feel whisked away. Aidan spends much of his time in the hospital, and to most of us we are familiar with that. This is the kind of book that gets to the heart of the matter. It is about growth, about relationships and about repentance.
Genuine example of how God can change lives.
I didn't want to put this book down. It drew me in from the beginning as I got deeper and deeper into this family's story. It deals with issues such as the death penalty, gambling and alcoholism. Not a light reading at all. More of a story that makes you search your own heart, and consider what others around you are going through.