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Grace at Bender Springs Paperback – September, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This profound, character-driven novel is one of few recenttitles from evangelical houses that can compete on the same playing field with more literary fiction. The novel is set in a Kansas hole-in-the-wall during a summer of terrible drought--a drought which also symbolizes the local folks' spiritual thirst. Their troubles are not one-dimensional, as in so many Christian novels. A pastor's wife is hemmed in by despair and old, acknowledged wounds; a teenage boy is saved from suicide at the last moment by a firm, understanding grandfather--and then again by an entire community of people who are praying for him; an elderly woman battles demons of the past as well as present-day irritations, such as the neighborhood dog who keeps eliminating in her yard. The novel offers no easy answers for Christians, but teaches a great deal about receiving simple grace. (Beliefnet, June 2000) -- From Beliefnet
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group (September 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805421270
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805421279
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,747,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Just when I was beginning to be bored with all the new fiction coming down the pike, I picked up a copy of "Grace at Bender Springs." What a wonderful surprise this book was! "Grace" takes an intimate look at the lives and spiritual struggles of the residents of a small town in a way that is refreshing, authentic and hopeful, avoiding platitudes and sentimentality. The characters of this small town are earthy and believable -the kind that you might have known in your own community growing up. Perhaps the most compelling part of "Grace" is the care and respect the author shows for each of her characters - some, which on the surface, seem like easy targets for stereotyping, like the Pentecostal minister Reverend Miracle. Instead, Hampton Wright manages to cajole the reader into accepting and acknowledging the value of each person in her kaleidoscope line-up - from Randy, the teenager living with an older man and looking for meaning in her life, to Tony, a suicidal teen who is tempted to give up his life to the darkness he feels closing in, to Dave, a middle-aged, agnostic widower whose life is going nowhere. Hampton Wright's style may remind readers of Clyde Edgerton's "Walking Across Egypt," especially in the wonderful way she portrays elderly women. Characters in the book such as Mamie, an elderly widow mired in routine, and her group of card-playing friends, feel completely authentic to the reader. Like Edgerton, Hampton Wright mixes unexpected humor, small-town situations and bedrock spirituality in a way that is fresh and appealing. A stunning scene at the close of the book leaves readers with a sense of hope that the grace that touched so many in Bender Springs might also be available for them.
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Format: Paperback
Wright's characters capture you as eagerly turn each and every page, anxiously fretting along with them as they journey to find the graces that will quench their spiritual thirsts. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. The juxtaposition of Bender Springs' past with its present was flawlessly written! Though not an epic, the finely-detailed characters and the author's attention to detail are reminiscient of Leon Uris'Trinity. The human weaknesses of the characters remind me of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Wright makes no apologies for the humanity of her characters. This book should be made into a movie, but one wonders what the film industry would do to its essence of life.
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By A Customer on December 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
What a pleasure it was to read this book and to see portrayed in this story God's gentle hand in people's lives. Grace at Bender Springs is filled with memorable characters I will never forget. Thank you, Vinita Hampton Wright, wherever you are.
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Format: Paperback
I read the author's second novel, Velma Still Cooks in Leeway, first and enjoyed it more than this one. The character development was a strong point, though I wished things would have moved along a bit faster. But maybe that's just how things go in a slow-paced, small town. Realistic portrayal of saints and sinners but I felt very much on the outside and didn't really care very much about them. A good writer though and her second novel shows the kind of things I missed in this one.
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