I am writing this review fresh on the heels of attending a book signing event at which I finally got to meet one of my favorite authors, Charles Martin. I just finished his latest novel, A Life Intercepted, last night, so the book signing was well timed for me. It was my very first book signing and I enjoyed it tremendously. It reminded me of just how much I adore small bookstores and how much I enjoy having an actual book in my hands. I love reading and always have, but I have been addicted to e-reading on my Kindle the last few years. It’s fast, it’s less expensive…what’s not to love? BUT, then there are bookstores. Maybe they are a bit old fashioned, but that’s okay with me. I rediscovered a love tonight for locally owned book stores and I will surely be back there. It was wonderful! The two authors present were Lisa Patton and, of course, Charles Martin. I had never read any of Ms. Patton’s books previously, but I left with a signed copy of her first novel, Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’Easter, and I can hardly wait to get started on it. I have read all of Charles Martin’s books already, some more than once, and I also left with a signed copy of A Life Intercepted. Both authors were just wonderful to hear and meet in person and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to be there this evening.
So, back to the book review…
A Life Intercepted is Charles Martin’s tenth novel and it does not disappoint. It was one of those books that I wanted to pace myself to read through slowly, but, at the same time, I didn’t want to put it down. It was such a powerful and amazing read all the way through. I was engaged from start to finish. There were moments when I had tears, there were moments when I had smiles and there were moments when I just felt my heart being pulled all over the place, but in the best of ways. Once again, Charles Martin’s writing style drew me into his characters and their situations. I was invested all the way through the book. And, it didn’t let me down for a single second. Every page, every chapter was just as riveting as the one before and after it.
I hesitate to talk too much about the story lines because, well, I just don’t want to give anything away. I can tell you that there are elements that deal with football, with personal identity, with loss, with redemption and, of course, with love. And, as with every Charles Martin book there is an element of faith intricately woven into the stories. He doesn’t preach and he never gets cheesy, he’s just real and you feel the depth of his own personal faith in his writing and in the fiber of his characters. As my friend Debbie and I agreed in talking about his books, you come away from reading one of his books wanting to be a better person. That says a lot. Books that captivate your attention, get you emotionally invested AND leave you with lessons to apply to your own life? Those are excellent books. And, those are the essence of Charles Martin’s writing.
I absolutely recommend this novel to anyone. It’s a truly wonderful read. If you’ve never read Charles Martin before, start with this one. Work your way through the other nine novels. Then, do me a favor, won’t you? Come back and tell me how much you enjoy them. Because I can guarantee that you will. The way he writes relates to everyone. If I were forced to choose a genre for Charles Martin’s writing, I would say “southern fiction”, but, even at that, his writing has something, I believe, for everyone.
I’m going to close with a photo collage from tonight. On the left is me with Charles and on the right is his inscription in my copy of A Life Intercepted. He wrote: Kelly – Blessings! “Love does what hatred cannot.” Charles. And that, I believe, sums up a lot. That is what you will find in this novel and that’s what you’ll find in this lifetime. Read this novel, and his others, and you’ll be as blessed by them as I am.