Joel Carpenter is a devoted father to Colton, a barber turned hair stylist, a loving but flawed husband to Kari and a man whose life will be changed forever by poor choices and a cruel tragedy.
With his marriage in pieces, Joel struggles with his new found life as a single dad, having to share custody, juggle work and daycare and attempt to make decisions about his son’s needs he feels ill-equipped to do. He gains support and encouragement from his friends, single dads Abe, Pete, Sean and Casey, all trying to survive broken relationships and raise their kids well.
His life is thrown into further turmoil when tragedy forces Joel to take on a role he never imagined and gives him a second chance he never thought possible.
A Bigger Life is a powerful and moving story of a man who is stuck with the awful consequences of his choices but strives to heal the wounds he has caused by a love greater than he ever believed was in him. Annette Smith writes Joel’s story in the first person brilliantly and without apology. Joel is one of the deepest and well described characters I have ever read and his heartache, joy and love are palpable to the point I almost had to remind myself it was not an autobiography! Joel is a true bloke who thinks like a man, providing a glimpse into the soul of devoted father’s everywhere. Too often single dad’s get a bad rap for being estranged and distant from their kids. Annette has tipped the scales a little for the many fathers who adore their children and participate as much as they can within the constraints of court orders and the like.
The love story is unexpected and captivating, the friendships among the men engaging and the message of the power of unconditional love and faith, incomparable. Beautifully done, Annette! I hope we get to return to Eden Plain soon.
I am delighted to say I have two copies of this wonderful book to give away to my Australian readers! Please post a comment and I will include you in the draw which will close at midnight on Tuesday 1st May, 2007.