The Seventeen Second Miracle

( 34 )

Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters and The Cross Gardener, a story of small kindnesses-and life-changing miracles.

Seventeen seconds can change a life forever. This is what Rex Connor learned on a gorgeous summer afternoon in 1970 when, as a lifeguard, he diverted his gaze for seventeen seconds and tragedy occurred. Forty years later the waves of that day still ripple through the lives of countless people, ...

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The Seventeen Second Miracle

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters and The Cross Gardener, a story of small kindnesses-and life-changing miracles.

Seventeen seconds can change a life forever. This is what Rex Connor learned on a gorgeous summer afternoon in 1970 when, as a lifeguard, he diverted his gaze for seventeen seconds and tragedy occurred. Forty years later the waves of that day still ripple through the lives of countless people, including his son, Cole.

Cole Connor has become a patient teacher, and now he has invited three struggling teenagers to visit him on his front porch to learn about Rex Connor-and the Seventeen Second Miracle. Together they will learn how Rex Connor could have allowed seventeen seconds to destroy him, but instead he chose to live every day believing the smallest of acts could change the world for good. And the students, each with their own secrets and private pains, will begin to understand that even tragedy brings lessons. Even pain brings comfort. Even death brings miracles. A seventeen second miracle can change a life-if you let it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sharp prose, clever characterizations, thought-provoking insights….fresh and spiritual."
– Don Piper, New York Times bestselling author of 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven is Real

"Passionate, spiritual and thought-provoking…[A] beautifully written book."
– Glenn Beck, talk radio and FOX news host, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Celebrates the incredible joys of the human experience."
– Kevin Milne, author of The Nine Lessons

"Fans of author Jason F. Wright's previous inspirational novels…will delight in this uplifting tale."
Birmingham Magazine

"Jason Wright's storytelling captures the reader's heart and draws them along on the journey to find forgiveness, acceptance and peace through this loving tale."
Wichita Falls Times Record News

"The Cross Gardener is a quiet book with a quiet message of hope…Wright is to be commended for his passion and commitment to his subject."
Deseret News

"Plenty of uplift and tradition-affirming sentiment."
Publishers Weekly

Kevin Miline
"The Seventeen Second Miracle offers everything I want in a book: believable characters, laughter and tears, a heartfelt narrative, and a timeless message....On a scale of one to ten, I give it a seventeen."--(Kevin Milne, author of Sweet Misfortune )
Jessica Harrison
"An unassuming little book with a whole lot of heart....Wright's prose is like a handmade quilt, intricate in design but featuring a homespun simplicity."--(Jessica Harrison, Book Critic, Deseret News )
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425237946
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 231,690
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason F. Wright is the national bestselling author of Christmas Jars. He’s also a consultant whose editorial articles on politics, pop culture, and public policy have appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide. He serves as founder and managing editor of the widely read political destination, PoliticalDerby.com.

Jason fell in love with Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley while researching the area for The Wednesday Letters, and with the enthusiastic blessing of his wife, Kodi, he recently relocated with her and their four children to the historic town of Woodstock. A sign on their door says, “Friends welcome. Family by appointment only.”

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Reading Group Guide

INTRODUCTION
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters and Christmas Jars comes a story of small kindnesses—and life-changing miracles

Seventeen seconds can change a life—forever. This is what Rex Connor learned on a summer afternoon in 1970 when, as a lifeguard, his gaze was diverted for seventeen seconds and tragedy occurred. Forty years later the waves of that day still ripple through the lives of countless people, including Rex's son, Cole.

Cole Connor is a patient teacher, and he has long shared his father's story with those in need. This fall, Cole has invited three struggling teenagers to visit him to learn about Rex Connor—and the Seventeen Second Miracle.

The teens will hear how Rex remade his life—seventeen seconds at a time—by performing small acts of kindness that sometimes had life-altering consequences. As Cole's students learn, miracles can happen—with a little help from you. When this knowledge is put to a surprising test, what the students discover may transform your world, as it did theirs. A seventeen second miracle can change your life—if you let it.

ABOUT JASON F. WRIGHT

Jason F. Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters and Christmas Jars. He's also a political commentator whose editorials have appeared in newspapers nationwide and a popular speaker who speaks on writing, service, and various political and social issues. He has been seen on CNN, FoxNews, C-SPAN, and on local television affiliates around the country. He lives with his wife, Kodi, and their four children in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  • Why do you think most people blame Rex for Flick's drowning? Do you think that is a fair assessment? Why or why not?
  • Losing a child is an emotional hardship. Do you think Flick's mother was so unforgiving of Rex because she thought he could have prevented Flick's death, or is there something more to her ire?
  • Forgiveness can be a slow process. Discuss why Sparks and Rex stay together even after everything that's happened in their relationship, and to her family. Did you ever doubt they would be able to make their relationship work?
  • Why do you think Sparks was so quick to forgive Rex and help him heal?
  • Discuss the significance of Cole and Jade's porch and how it becomes a point of contention when Jade considers it "Cole's porch," but also how it becomes a haven for them and others.
  • Jade and Cole cannot have children and Jade had become "defeated with God." At one point, Jade says "I won't feel sorry for myself and blame God. I won't. I'll just live a different life than the one I dreamed of" (p 114 manuscript). Discuss how this tests their faith and marriage.
  • Rex "knew no strangers" (p 128 manuscript). How does this work in context with his life's work in performing, witnessing, and collecting seventeen-second miracle?
  • Jade gives Cole braids that symbolize the past, present, and future and reminds him to remember what the Discussions are really about. Why do you think it took so long for Jade to have this conversation with him? How do you think it changed how Cole led the Discussions from then on?
  • Would you consider the incident with Travis on the Mall a "failed miracle?" Why or why not? Are there other examples throughout the novel where the characters are confronted with a "failed miracle," only to have their faith see them through?
  • At the end of chapter 31, Cole says, "I retrieved Travis's watch. It worked, but it was badly beaten" (pg 152 manuscript). How is this symbolic of what just happened in the story? Were Travis's actions toward Cole justified after the incident?
  • Why do you think Jade is willing to give up Paper Gems if they can't arrest the arsonist? How does this exemplify the type of person she is?
  • As an apology to Jade, Cole buys three dozen roses and tucks a card into each vase, telling her to open them in any order. Discuss the symbolism and significance of the order in which she opens them: "You. I. Love."
  • Cole and Jade fight on their honeymoon because Cole is performing a miracle after Jade asks him not to get involved. Is it ever possible for a miracle to be detrimental?
  • At one point, Cole contemplates that his father "raised me in seventeen second miracles." Do you think there is any truth to this statement?
  • Do you think that Cole was better prepared for the Discussions by not following in his father's footsteps? Why or why not?
  • Discuss the difference between "being good" and "goody-goody" (pg 226 manuscript) in the context of the story and Rex's life.
  • Have you ever performed or experienced a seventeen second miracle?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another thought provoking read

    Another thought provoking novel from Jason F. Wright. Everyone should read this book not only for the story itself but for the self examination that goes on while reading it. Much like his Christmas Jars novel, this book will open the reader's eyes to simple ways to better the lives of the people arround them. By the end, you too will be looking for ways to perform seventeen second miracles throughout your day. You will believe in the Seventeen Second Miracle.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    this is a very good read

    Jason Wright has a way of creating characyers who steal your heart his stories have a potential to change the worlds thinking from human selfishness this was a bit of a slow read however an excellent novel

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2010

    Life Changing!

    This is the best book I have read in a very long time and I read every day. Jason Wright has become my favorite author. He is brillant. This story had my both laughing and crying. I could not put it down. I was so involved in it I tried to read while I cooked and talked on the phone. I think everyone should read this book and get the meaning out of the story about how we all can be better to people. It's not that hard and it only takes 17 seconds or less. Theres alot more to the story than that but I don't want to give it away. It rally changed my life for the better and I too have started a journal like in the book for my husband but he doesn't know it. When you read it you'll understand what I'm talking about. It's a great read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I really enjoyed this book. Second one I've read by this author and enjoyed both (first was 'The cross gardener'). It was a nice story, kept me interested the entire time. I am planning to purchase and additional books by Jason R Wright.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    The best read ever!

    This book should be everyone's library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    A Life Changer

    This is a great book! It would definitely make this world a much better place if everyone tried to create 17 second miracles, and we appreciated the 17 second miracles that we experience ourselves. This book has given me a daily challenge.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Excellent book!

    After reading this you will want to find ways to perform seventeen second miracles. Very touching.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    awesome read

    What a wonderful story ! It would be a better world if we all did 17 second miracles.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    A MUST read for sure!  If I were still teaching high school, I w

    A MUST read for sure!  If I were still teaching high school, I would definitely work this into my curriculum!
    I'm giving it as a graduation gift, birthday gift, teacher gift, etc.  I defintely recommend it to everyone!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2013

    This was a great book and it is definitely worth your time to re

    This was a great book and it is definitely worth your time to read. Jason F. Wright does a great job in explaining and setting the stage for what the book will be based on. He keeps you, as the reader, continuously engaged and interested. I read the book in four days because it was so intriguing and I wanted to know what happened next. The basic motto of the book is, “seventeen seconds can change a life.” This was the amount of time it took for a little girl, nicknamed Flick, to drown. The book is then based on the life of the main character’s father, Rex, who was initially blamed for letting the little girl drown. The seventeen second miracles are the acts of kindness Rex performed to overcome the feelings of guilt and sadness for Flick’s death. Rex kept a journal of these experiences, and they are passed on as Rex’s son, Cole, uses these stories to help change the lives of high school students. As I kept reading and learning more about the seventeen second miracles, I found myself looking for opportunities to perform seventeen second miracles to help someone else. Not only was I able to look for opportunities to serve others, but I also was able to notice the seventeen second miracles others performed for me. This book renews the hope that there are good people in the world. There are people who genuinely care about others and are willing to stop and serve when they are needed. Once again, I strongly recommend this to anyone. It is an easy and enjoyable read, and it will truly have an impact on your life if you will let it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Wonderful! Couldn't put it down!!

    Another amazing find. Plenty of twists and heartwarming turns to keep you glued to the pages. I am so glad i found this author. This story makes you want to help others or at the very least be aware of how others treat each other. It really doesn't take much time at all to be kind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    The 17 second Miracle.

    In the same amount of time it can take for a tragedy to occur, the same amount of time can also foster a miracle. One can either shut down after a horrific event or use it as a springboard to dive into life bringing blessings,
    And inspire others to do the same.
    Its all about CHOICE of how you respond!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Awesomw Awesome!!!!!"!

    Awesome magazine!!!!!!!!!! I love it sooooooooooooooooooow
    Muh

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This Book Will Touch Your Heart!

    A "miracle" is defined as an extraordinary event the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers. "The Seventeen Second Miracle", by Jason F. Wright, is a story about tragedy, forgiveness, hope, love, healing....and miracles. The theme of this book is that it only takes a few seconds to change another person's life....for the good or for the bad.
    The title of the book refers to the 17 seconds it took for a young girl to drown. Seventeen year old Rex Conner was swimming with his girlfriend "Sparks" and her sister "Flick" on Flick's 8th birthday. Flicks mother left Rex responsible for watching the young girl while she played in the water. When Rex turns his attention away for only those few seconds the girl drowns. He tries to revive her but to no avail and the mother holds him responsible.
    Rex was overcome with grief and guilt. He gradually started noticing others and their needs. He started doing small acts of random kindness. He also noticed nice things that others did for him. When he shared this with Sparks she told him to write these things down in a daily journal. He would let Sparks read his journal regularly. Then Sparks started her own journal, writing down all that Rex was doing to help others, his "Seventeen Second Miracles".
    Rex passed his journals and his legacy of doing good down to his son, Cole. Cole's father taught him that "love is a verb" and that "doing good" is not the same as being a "do good" person who has self-centered motives. Cole led a "Seventeen Second Miracle Discussion Group" with high school students that were hand-picked by the school principal. You see, the principal had been profoundly touched by one of Rex Conner's "seventeen second miracles" when he was a young man.
    Miracles are all around us if we open our eyes and our hearts to see them. It might take 17 seconds or five hours to reach out and make a difference in another life. Love is a verb and the time spent doing good is not wasted.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2011

    sample is TERRIBLE

    I really wanted to read a sample of this book. All that was included was a foreward and the table of contents. I dont know if it is the publisher or B & N that decided to give you only 9 pages, but shame on you! This in my eyes is NOT a sample. I wont purchase this now on pure principal.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 24, 2010

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    Posted January 22, 2011

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    Posted July 29, 2011

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    Posted February 18, 2013

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    Posted August 6, 2011

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