Peggy Payne, Author Simon & Schuster $18.45 (314p) ISBN 978-0-671-65252-4
Perceptively written, often poignant, this first novel details the anguish of Swain Hammond, a 38-year-old pastor in Chapel Hill, N.C. Although clearly a well-intentioned man, Hammond seems smug, introverted, alienated, even aloof to everyone except his wife, Julie. Hammond's smoldering unhappiness heightens when he alone hears what is apparently God's voice saying ""Know that the truth is . . . .'' Shaken and mystified by this inexplicable, fragmentary message, Hammond hears the voice again eight days later when it delivers a similarly cryptic warning. Then, Jakey Miles, the child of a couple in Hammond's congregation, is permanently blinded in a freak accident on church property. When Jakey's distraught father irrationally blames Hammond, the pastor punches him out of sheer frustration. Overwhelmingly moved by Jakey's plight, Hammond stands at his bedside frantically beseeching God for a miracle cure. Hammond's most searing crises still await him, however. Payne writes with lyricism and deep understanding. The novel concludes in a fittingly heartwarming, uplifting way when Hammond finally makes peace with his past and opens up to those around him. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-9635967-1-0
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