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Sunday, December 23, 2007

BACK AND FORTH: Conversations' "Book of the Month" for January 2008

Every now and then you read a book that reminds us that we are all just imperfect lumps of dirt, yet through it all our Heavenly Father still loves us. BACK AND FORTH is just type of book.
When I was first introduced to author Fon James I was initially excited to meet her since she was a native Mississippian who had written her first book. After meeting her, I realized that she was a wonderful young woman who had seen her dream to fruition and self-published first book. However, anyone who takes the time to read this book will agree with me in saying that this doesn't look or read like any debut novel.
BACK AND FORTH tells the story of four young people who have all made their share of mistakes---yet like many of us find it easier to ask God to forgive them than to forgive others. There is not one of the main characters that I honestly could find something about them that I didn't relate to.
Faith has to take the decision she made in her freshman year of college around with her as a symbolic scarlet letter due to her troubled conscience. Gavin allows his hormones to guide him through many of his experiences and puts his life and his sexual partners' lives in jeopardy in the process. Chrissy is a good girl that also makes mistakes that costs her more than she could've expected, but comes full circle in accepting responsibility in the end. Then there is Remi who equates manliness with being macho, and almost loses out on the best thing that has ever come into his life.  
The title BACK AND FORTH is present throughout the book and carries different meanings as well. First, Faith does go "back and forth" on the issue of whether or not to have sex with her boyfriend while trying to live the life she knows a Christian should.  It was during a prayer to God that she makes the revelation: "Sex is not the solidifier. You are.(p.126)" Others in the book go "back and forth" on whether one sin is larger than another. In the end, one of the things that sticks out to me is what Chrissy says to another emerging character in the book: "I am saved, just not living right for the Lord. (p.135)" How many of us can identify with that!
What Fon has managed to do is write a story layered enough for the "older heads" of literature and easy enough to maneuver through for young readers. It has all of the ingredients of a bestseller, and the author has all the makings of a force to be reckoned with in the industry.
Conversations Book Club is pleased to announce that BACK AND FORTH is our book of the month for January 2008. To read more about the book or purchase your own, visit http://www.fonjames.com.

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