Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn

This is a novel with a message of hope. Amy is a single mom living in her husband's old camper on his old pickup. He'd died of cancer two years before. By the time he'd died she'd lost her job, their insurance, and their house. All she had left was her five year old daughter and the rusty old truck.

Amy has finally gotten a job creating a painting on a car dealership windows. Just in town she meets Lucy, director of the Methodist Church's daycare and ministry to the homeless. That meeting would change Amy's life.

The chance for Amy to have a new life looks like it might be derailed when a drug house in the neighborhood causes problems. Amy's life is in danger when she sees drug dealers laundering money through one of the car salesmen in the dealership.

In the short time the novel covers, we see Amy revealed as a capable and compassionate woman. Being given a chance at a new life inspires the courage to do what is right in a difficult situation. Several in the church stand by her with support and protection.

Most of the novel is a character study on Amy and how the ministry of the church has allowed her to get out of the hole into which she has fallen. There is a little romance in the novel but I was totally surprised at that outcome. There is a little action too as an ex-FBI agent and a retired policeman help the church oppose the drug culture encroaching into their territory.

This is not a novel for readers who like an action packed novel. This is more a study of what the work of a church can do to help change the lives of others. It is based on a true story and that is encouraging. The characters are well developed and grow as the story unfolds. Reading the novel will give you new perspective when you see the homeless. It will also give you pause to think what you and your church are doing to help the needy.

Davis Bunn is the author of many national bestsellers. He has won three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. He is currently affiliated with Oxford where he serves as writer in residence at Regen's Park College.

Howard Books, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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