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That Melvin Bray Paperback – November 5, 2013
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About the Author
- Publisher : AbbottPress (November 5, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 290 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1458212122
- ISBN-13 : 978-1458212122
- Item Weight : 15 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.73 x 9 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#2,865,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #204,222 in Thrillers & Suspense (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Her mystery novel centers on an ebb and flow between physical, mental and emotional stresses encountered by a family that otherwise held Hope for a future beyond the evils of an alcoholic father. Maggs, who I suspect was much like the author, was the kind of person that carried with her the right teachings of her mother along with a fierce devotion for family even as she fought to forgive the one that was responsible for so much fear and grief in the young lives of her and her siblings.
This beautifully constructed mystery novel is no doubt also a work of love as can be felt and seen in the character of each family member seeking to flee the physical violence of their father. The ebb and flow of tragedy mixed with the Hope for a better time were re-occurring themes that sometimes hint at the dark side of family relationships. Following each episode of pain was the mother's mantra to "live life the best you can with what you have" and the eternal optimism to do just that. It was her mother that reminded her to "remember the sadness but remain strong in the face of it and grow in the Love that will set you free". I am truly impressed with this "work of love" and I say this with conviction: I was literally brought to tears on 9 occasions.
The novel has three parts woven into an inspirational thriller: Magg’s reunion with her childhood friend, Lizzy, a psychiatrist, to review their childhood experiences and help Magg with her childhood scars and struggle with forgiveness. Conversations between them often suggested to me the kind of humorous dialog that they surely had during their college sophomore years.
Part 2 takes place 35 or so years earlier as Magg’s flashbacks reveals many experiences as a 5 and 6 year old having to learn to deal with an irresponsible, alcoholic father’s adult problems which at times became violent. Yet, the flashbacks also reveal the dear hearts and gentle people in a small town in the middle of the Bible Belt that those of us who grew up in such a place during the late 40s and 50s can remember and appreciate as much as Southern fried chickin’. Magg was one of 9 children that bonded admirable in their challenges, no doubt with the religious influence of their mother, aunt, neighbors, and local community.
Part 3 is the mystery, clues to which were planted early in the story. Although against odds, things that recalled the mystery and led to its conclusion were discovered 35 years later while Magg was visiting her friend Lizzy. The trail that followed was well organized and detailed. Readers will not want to put the book down. For me, the conclusion was satisfactory for those who needed closure, but one question was not resolved. It may linger in the minds of many of us. Sometimes I think it’s just part of the writer’s craft. We won’t forget the book.
Finally, Magg’s family get together after 35 years, and Magg explains what has happened to her other 8 siblings. The book is both a heart-warming story and a gripping mystery.