Local Opinion Editorials


by Marcus Brotherton
Moody Publishers
PB, 280 pages

Rowdy Slater, a former paratrooper, has fallen on hard times since his dishonorable discharge at the end of World War II. Desperate for money, Rowdy agrees to participate in a bank robbery. However, after losing track of his partner during the escape and stashing the money, he begins to feel overwhelmed by guilt. Following a moving sermon at a local mission, Rowdy feels changed and decides to return the money. The sheriff agrees not to charge him for the crime on one condition—he must become the town’s new preacher. As Rowdy slowly adjusts to his new job under the tutelage of the previous pastor, Ms. Bobbie Baker, he finds himself believing he can make a difference in the town. Now he just has to hope his old partner won’t come looking for him.

At times the story stretches elements of realism and the central characters needed more backstory in order for readers to understand their motivations. However, Brotherton does a good job of bringing the key characters to life and encouraging the reader to become invested in the story. He also explores several theological questions that are prominent in today’s society, such as integrity, loyalty, love, devotion, and honor. Teens and adults who enjoy history, especially the World War II time period, would enjoy this novel.

The characters’ struggles and tough questions in this story illustrate the important truth that no one has all the answers. The book demonstrates the importance of asking hard questions and wrestling through them, regardless of whether or not the searching will lead to a definite conclusion.

This book has been reviewed by Rachel M. Pfeiffer a professional writing major at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.