Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Book Review: Hometown Favorite by Bill Barton and Henry O. Arnold

A Little Hard to Believe, Maybe, but Enjoyable
By Terry Robins
Dewayne Jobe is a small-town football star who rises above his background to become one of America's finest and most popular players in the NFL in "Hometown Favorite" by Bill Barton and Henry O. Arnold (Revell, September 2008). His glory is short-lived when family circumstances take control of his life and turn it into a nightmare. Top that off with a sudden onset of physical disaster, and the downward spiral is complete.

Readers who aren't huge football fans and knowledgeable of its terminology and jargon might be tempted to give up trying to slog through description after description of play by plays, but if you can persevere and get to the meat of the story it becomes more gripping.

Jobe's story is one of tenacious faith not only in God, but in the human spirit as well. He holds onto this faith through seemingly insurmountable odds, and with the help and support of a surprising friend, pulls himself out of the pit that becomes his life.

There are times in this story of hard luck and sad circumstances that it becomes a little difficult to believe that all the people who surround Jobe are instantaneously certain of his guilt. They never give him the benefit of the doubt, even when they are all aware that there is an evil element living within their family circle who is much more capable of the horrible deeds that transpire. The credulity of the story is also weakened by the total, unrelenting loss and disaster that strikes him all at once. It just seems that in the effort to create this picture of utter hopelessness the writer goes one step too far.

Readers looking for a pretty easy read and who can stand the horrific events that lead this character on his faith-testing journey will enjoy finding out the fate of Dewayne Jobe, however. By the way, anyone notice the similarity of this story line to the story of another guy named Job?
Find more information or buy the book here.

Terry Robins is a retired middle school teacher and serves at her church in the Kansas City area running its drama ministry and cafe and resource center. She has three daughters and four grand children.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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