From the Dead by John Herrick
Publication Date: August 2010
Publisher: Segue Blue
Format: Paperback, 384 pp
Genre: Commercial Fiction
(Received for review from the author)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, Indiebound
Author's Website: www.johnherrick.net
Excerpt: Click HERE!
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
A preacher's son. A father in hiding. A guilty heart filled with secrets.
When Jesse Barlow escaped to Hollywood at age eighteen, he hungered for freedom, fame and fortune. Eleven years later, his track record of failure results in a drug-induced suicide attempt. Revived at death's doorstep, Jesse returns to his Ohio hometown to make amends with his preacher father, a former love, and Jesse's own secret son. But Jesse's renewed commitment becomes a baptism by fire when his son's advanced illness calls for a sacrifice - one that could cost Jesse the very life he regained.
A story of mercy, hope, and second chances, From the Dead captures the human spirit with tragedy and joy.
John Herrick's debut novel, From the Dead, was certainly an eye-opener! This is a book that defies the rules when it comes to placing it in a category or assigning it a genre. It blurs the lines between general and Christian fiction to an extent that readers of both genre's will love the book.
Jesse Barlow had a checkered past. The son of a preacher he was used to the restrictions and the constraints of Christianity. And when he got the opportunity to break away he did it in a big way. His new found freedom took him far from his Ohio hometown to the bright lights of Hollywood. But what Jesse was looking for wasn't in Hollywood it was right back where he started...
After a succession of failures, including an attempted suicide Jesse returns home with the intention of righting some old wrongs, with his father, his former girlfriend and his own son and even God. He quickly finds out that you can't run from your past, it has a way of catching up with you.
There are so many things that I liked about this book. It was edgy and full of real life situations and drama. The author showed us Jesse's character at his very worst, in order to show us how much he had changed, with a very in your face writing style that I found really refreshing for a book that deals with faith. Herrick went where most author's fear to tread and he did with a lot of grit and a lot of heart. Real life isn't a bed of roses, it's tough and it's really ugly sometimes and the author does an excellent job of making his story believable and authentic. He pushed the envelope and made me like it!
I always wonder if a male writer can get it right when it comes to romance, with the exception of Nicholas Sparks and now, John Herrick. Jesse and Caitlyn's relationship is at times poignant and at times almost desperate. The author was able to make the characters come off the page and strike a cord in the heart of the reader. I even got a little teary eyed in a place or two and that's unusual. I believe if a writer can make you feel something, whether is joy or sadness or anger even - if he/she can make you feel it through the written word they have really accomplished something.
The book is very much character driven as we see Jesse a man who hit rock bottom and had no where else to go but up. He not only reacquaints himself with the faith he thought he had lost, but he gets the chance through the illness of his son to put that faith into action. He doesn't just talk about it, he does something about it. I like that! That's how it's supposed to work. I would recommend this book to a wide range of readers. Redemption is something that carries across genre lines and speaks to people in a profound way. This isn't just a book about faith, it's about hope and it's about second chances.
From the Dead is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one a resounding 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Be sure to check out my interview with John Herrick later today!
John Herrick graduated from the University of Missouri. An occasional songwriter and voice-over artist, his background also includes information technology and direct marketing. Herrick lives in St. Louis.