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John Herrick, Author
From the Dead!
How many of us love the dark seasons of our lives? How many of us enjoy a nice downward spiral into oblivion? Apart from artistic reasons, a safe guess might be zero.
Few of us have run away from home. Most of us have neither struck a wealthy inheritance nor had the opportunity to squander one.
So why has the concept of a prodigal son maintained its appeal for centuries?
Personally, I suppose I’m drawn to a prodigal’s imperfections. After all, I know how it feels to fall short in the sight of others or to fail in my own expectations.
Jesse Barlow, the main character in my novel From The Dead, is a prodigal. A preacher’s son, his community has custom-designed a pedestal for him. Jesse’s conflict: He’s uncomfortable with heights. He can’t find a way to climb atop, nor does he want to. Becoming a spectacle for critique angers him.
And so he wanders.
Perhaps I’m drawn to the secrets Jesse holds as a prodigal. He’s experienced heartbreak on his journey. He’s made his share of mistakes, compromised his principles. In his attempt to escape his circumstances, he travels to the opposite end of the spectrum—to a place where he still doesn’t fit in. In essence, Jesse denies himself.
And he holds his secrets inside, unspoken. He confides in no one.
Because a prodigal is on a quest, he offers a treasure trove of complexity. As a writer, I have the chance to pour into the character a balance of fear, toil, and emotion—components that make us human. Qualities we all share to one degree or another.
But perhaps the biggest appeal in the story of a prodigal—for me, at least—is the light of victory. A prodigal, in the end, reminds us to hold out hope in the darkest of situations. A prodigal’s story often comes with a second chance.
The rise of a prodigal can inspire us to keep climbing, to continue to reach. Maybe even take a risk or two.
Thank you for letting me stop by. I’d love to hear from you at my website, www.johnherrick.net, and invite you to follow my blog at johnherricknet.blogspot.com. If you get a chance to read From The Dead (and I hope you do!), please let me know what you think!
Thanks so much for visiting John! Come back anytime... And readers, in case you missed it, you can read review of From the Dead here on Book Reader's Heaven by clicking the title of this article!