The Novelist: If a Son No Longer Listens, Can a Story Reach His Heart?

The Novelist: If a Son No Longer Listens, Can a Story Reach His Heart?

4.6 6
by Angela Hunt
     
 

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From the author who taught you to expect the unexpected...an intriguing tale about families, fiction, and what to do when life veers wildly off script.

It begins...when a smug college student challenges a best-selling novelist to write something "more personal." It begins...when a mother finds her troubled son slumped unconscious outside her house. It

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Overview

From the author who taught you to expect the unexpected...an intriguing tale about families, fiction, and what to do when life veers wildly off script.

It begins...when a smug college student challenges a best-selling novelist to write something "more personal." It begins...when a mother finds her troubled son slumped unconscious outside her house. It begins...when fiction and reality blur, and the novelist finds herself caught somewhere in the middle of it all. Where does it end? That all depends on who is telling the story...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a novel her publisher is touting as "a glimpse into her own life," Hunt, a grandmother and prolific writer (more than 70 books), pens a novel about a prolific writer and grandmother. Jordan Casey is the pen name for Jordan Casey Kerrigan, grandmother and author of a bestselling adventure series. She agrees to teach a college night class on writing fiction and is challenged by an irksome student to ditch her formulaic approach and try writing something from the heart. Stung by the criticism, Kerrigan turns down a lucrative contract for another adventure novel and writes an allegory of paradise, sin, the fall and redemption as played out in an otherworldly casino. As she writes, her desire to change her 21-year-old son Zachary's chaotic life as a suicidal addict becomes an impetus for a story she wants to communicate about life, loss and second chances (told alongside mother and son's actual plight). God, she believes, is the ultimate writer, complete with an outline for one's life story-yet even the characters in the hands of a novelist have choices. Jordan's reality and fiction alternate and finally converge as Hunt spins her tale, with flashbacks to Zachary's innocent childhood that are guaranteed to wring tears from even the hardest-hearted reader. Although Hunt is known for her competency, this novel also shows poignancy and imagination. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780849944833
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
01/10/2006
Series:
Hunt Series
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I must be crazy, I tell myself, to stick my neck in a noose on my birthday. My husband, Carl, thinks my gesture is gracious and long overdue, so he kisses my cheek and bows gallantly before opening the door of my '85 Mercedes roadster. "Knock 'em dead, dear. I can't wait to hear all about it."

My twenty-one-year-old son, Zachary, is in one of his joking moods-in fact, he's been extra-friendly and charming all day, a much-appreciated birthday gift. "I'm glad my name isn't on that class roster," he says, slipping his hands into his jeans pockets. Barefoot, he does a side-stepping little dance that tells me he's anxious to finish this family farewell so he can go out with his friends. "I'd hate to have you as a professor."

"Your mother is a wonderful teacher." Carl smiles into my eyes. "Those people at the community college are lucky to have her."

I slide into the low seat of the car and punch the garage door opener. "You guys can go ahead and eat some cake if you get hungry. Don't wait on me."

Carl shakes his head. "Nonsense. We're going to sing and blow out candles when you get back."

"It's not really a big deal."

"It's a huge deal. How often does my best girl turn fifty-four?"

I roll my eyes and slip my key into the ignition.

"Hey, Mom?"

I look at Zack, enormously grateful for another opportunity to linger at home. "Yes?"

"You're teaching under your pen name, right?"

The question puzzles me until I consider its source. I've agreed to teach a course at the local college . . . which means some of my son's friends might be in my class. Though I know Zack's proud of me, he's not exactly thrilled with the kind of books I write.

I give him a reassuring smile. "Don't worry, Son. I'll be Jordan Casey 'til the clock strikes nine."

He blows out his cheeks in exaggerated relief. "Dodged a bullet."

"You should be proud of your mother," Carl says.

"I am, but-"

I turn the key, allowing the rumble of the roadster's engine to drown out the father-son discussion. It's a debate I've heard before.

"Hey." I hang my elbow over the door. "If Patty or Shannon calls-"

"I'll tell them to call again after nine."

"Better make that nine thirty. I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to get away."

Carl nods as another flock of doubts swoops down to shadow my good intentions. Why on earth did I agree to teach this class? Patty and Shannon, my daughters, both live on the East Coast, which means they aren't likely to stay up if I miss their calls. Neither will forget my birthday, but Patricia is a busy lawyer, and Shannon's two little ones wear her out . . .

"Tell the girls I'll call them tomorrow."

I blow Carl a kiss, then slip the car into reverse and edge into the night.

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