cover image Shame


Greg Garrett, . . David C. Cook, $14.99 (326pp) ISBN 978-1-4347-6752-3

Seven years after his acclaimed novel Free Bird , Garrett, a professor of English at Baylor University, returns to fiction with a family love story that starts as slow as the pace in the Oklahoma farming town where it’s set. The plot picks up steam when John Tilden unpacks his past in first-person narration. A class reunion and alumni basketball game planned in the small community churn up a midlife crisis for this married man with kids, stirring up his glory days of basketball and girls. The writing is titillating for Christian fiction but believable as the narrator fights the temptation of a former lover and recent divorcé (“The two of us in my truck flashed into my head, and it took a moment of mental wrestling to body slam it to the mat”). The book explores faithfulness in marriage and friendship through rich, believable characters. Punchy dialogue, particularly the funny exchanges between rancher father and newly vegetarian daughter, should bring knowing nods from parents of teens. Shame plows deep furrows in the heart—a slam dunk for Garrett. (May)