While the pews and altar table were hauled out through the back door of the chapel, Preston used the claw arm of the 1400K Excavator to start digging up the stones of the walkway leading to the chapel . He was thankful that the engine’s diesel roar drowned out any sounds of protest from the crowd, and he kept his head down, purposely not looking at the crowd, so he could not see agitated disappointment at the fall of this humble, little church.
IN A CITY FILLED WITH DROWNING, DESPERATE SOULS, DARRAGH FINN, A DRUNKARD, FELON AND ATHEIST, BECOMES THEIR UNLIKELY HAND OF DELIVERANCE.
Christmas morning and a solidly constructed stone chapel that was not there the night before sets in Central Park. That day’s front page of the New York Times is blank except for a single poem signed only “df.” Then each day, a new poem from the enigmatic “df” appears in seemingly miraculous ways no one can explain and people in need are helped. Is it a sign from heaven, a miracle for today’s secular world or somebody’s sick joke or computer hack? The powers that be want the chapel demolished and removed from city property, but some see this as a sacrilege and stand in opposition.
“The Stone Chapel Poet, McCall’s masterfully inventive debut novel, is as vibrant and iridescent as the stained glass windows adorning the small chapel discovered Christmas morning on the lawn of Central Park. Poignant poetry, which appears simultaneously and just as inexplicably to usurp the front page of New York Times, becomes the loom weaving together the tattered threads of four desperate lives, shredded by the frozen winds of loneliness. Jaded New Yorker’s are left to wonder whether the chapel and the poetry are Christmas miracles or simply unconventional graffiti.
McCall subtly waves his pen and the reader feels the soft kiss of snowflakes, hears Salvation Army bells and smells evergreen needles, transported viscerally to that place in us all where
memories of our favorite Christmases past reside. McCall reminds us that the threads connecting humanity are love and, wherever there is love, there is the intention of Christmas. As Cap Kencaid, McCall’s ill-fated fisherman reveals, Christmas, at its best, is not a season but an inexhaustible series of lifelines that can be used to salvage the overwhelmed.”
As elegant as it is powerful, The Stone Chapel Poet is destined to be an annual holiday refresher for everyone who, as a child once upon a time, knew the undeniable magic of Christmas morning.”—Rick Norman, author of Fielder’s Choice.
“This book had me from the first paragraph. An intriguing story of a Christmas miracle, where the author paints vivid pictures of the characters, and of New York City. I loved it and plan to read it again. Definitely five stars.”—Lisa Stewart.
"What is the difference between believing in existence and believing in life? The Stone Chapel Poet takes us on a mysterious journey that offers an answer to that question, and as it does, H. Alan McCall balances deft storytelling that keeps you turning the page with poignant scenes that melt even 'a fisherman’s winter heart.' By the story’s end, you’ll be reminded that so much of life’s pilgrimage begins with a willingness to walk beyond the unseen."—Dr. Keagan LeJeune, Professor, McNeese State University.