Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Notes: ‘Thirsty’ by Tracey Bateman

Family struggles and everyday hardships aren’t usually topics that many (especially me) want to spend their free time reading about, but Tracey Bateman’s novel “Thirsty,” (WaterBrook Press, October 2009) is interesting as it brings to light struggles that so many families face.

Alcoholism plays a huge part in this story and the reader soon finds out that “thirsty” has a much greater meaning.

For Nina Parker, the steps toward recovery from her addiction are smaller than those she must take as she faces her ex-husband, Hunt, with little hope of making amends, and tries to rebuild a relationship with her angry teenage daughter, Meagan. In the process, she returns to her hometown in Missouri where she catches the attention of someone–or something dark and menacing.

Bateman crafts her characters very well and you can feel the turmoil evolve as their different personalities clash throughout the book. It’s a slow read at first but the further you get, the richer the story becomes. You learn of the Parkers’ past and seeing how Nina has matured has the reader rooting for a comeback.

For anyone who has struggled or is struggling with an addiction of any kind, this story brings to light that it really isn’t a walk in the park to change your life. It takes hard work and determination, and doing things you really don’t want to do.

“Thirsty” was not the story I was expecting, namely some sort of Christian alternative to the “Twilight” series books. Instead, this story is a breath of fresh air. Other then the previously mentioned slow start, the story is heartfelt and entertaining for readers.

Buy the book here.

--Brian Yarger

Brian Yarger is a freelance artist living outside of Hartford, CT. His favorite genre of book is fiction with a supernatural twist. A free reviewer's copy of this book was provided by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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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 ( and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for

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

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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