*** As seen on Christian Book Previews review site.
ABOUT THE BOOK
It's hard to appreciate the life you have when you're wondering about the one you might have had.
John Tilden's glory days are far behind him, and now it seems like all he has is the monotony of everyday living. He certainly thought there'd be more to it than his ramshackle Oklahoma farm and a mundane job coaching basketball at his old high school. He questions his fatherhood skills too: His oldest son won't speak to him, his younger son wants to quit the basketball team, and now his daughter wants to go out on dates. He loves his wife, but the marriage has settled into complacency.
With John's twentieth high school reunion approaching, he has agreed to play in an exhibition game with the old championship team. And his ex-girlfriend's back in town, newly single. What might have been now seems closer than ever.
This story was amazing. I must admit that I have been thoroughly impressed with the quality of and edgy content in David C. Cook's books that have been released so far this year. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that whoever acquired their books this past year had amazingly good taste. I've enjoyed every novel. Their stories are all unique and contain deep concepts with strong emotion and great characterization. There is nothing blah or same-old, same-old here. If I were to purchase books solely based on the publisher alone, I'd select anything Cook releases...unless they change their pattern. Now enough about the publisher and on to the book.
Shame is the kind of book I like to sink my teeth into. I love novels with genuine thoughts and real characters. People who are flawed and aren't model citizens. People like me who don't always make the best decisions or choices, but they want to live their life in a way that is pleasing to God. Yet they still struggle. Shame is one of those books.
Numerous times I found myself smiling as the author had his character thinking honest thoughts. I wanted to cheer for the author. Why? Because so many books portray people as "near-perfect" and who always choose the right thing. The marital issues in Shame are typical of many couples. The family problems are also not unusual. The insight the author had into both topics was incredible. He portrayed everything in such a believable manner.
Also, the small town setting and the farm drew me in. I felt like I was involved in the same activities of the main character and his friends. The setting was very well done and it was easy for me to forget the present and delve between the pages of Shame. And like a good book is supposed to do, Shame brings the reader full circle when it comes to emotion. There are no unresolved issues, and yet everything doesn't always end up perfectly fixed. Just realistically wrapped up.
I had a warm glow after finishing this story. It left me feeling inspired and I would highly recommend this story to anyone who loves to experience angst and drama in a book but only when it's done with realistic characters and emotions. Everything felt very natural and nothing was forced. Bravo!
Shame was published by David C Cook and released in May 2009.