A preacher's son, a father in hiding, a guilty heart filled with secrets: When Jesse Barlow escaped to Hollywood, he hungered for fame--but eleven years of failure result in a drug-induced suicide attempt. Revived at death's doorstep, Jesse returns to his Ohio hometown to make amends with his preacher father, a former love, and Jesse's own secret son. But Jesse's renewed commitment becomes a baptism by fire when his son's advanced illness calls for a sacrifice--one that could cost Jesse the very life he regained. A story of mercy, hope, and second chances, From The Dead captures the human spirit with tragedy and joy.
Book picture and link from The Book Depository and teaser from Goodreads
Published in US: Aug 31 2010
**My rating: 4/5**
From the Dead is a story of sacrifice and second chances. It is beautifully written, emotional, and well paced.
It begins pretty rough, Jesse, the main character is in a dead-end relationship, unable to get a job, with a cloud of depression hanging over him. There is cursing, drinking and drug use in the beginning, but if you stick with the story you realize that it is not without cause.
He goes back to his hometown to get a fresh start and reconnects with his dad and realizes that he has a son he never knew about. I felt many emotions with Jesse as he gets to know his son, comes to terms with his minister father and the life he grew up with, and faces a medical problem of his own.
The title is very appropriate for many reasons- his attempt to end his life, his reconnection with Christianity, and his sacrifice for his son. This is a spiritual journey interweaved in the story, but to me it never came across as preachy- just Jesse's personal battles, and his admiration of his father's life work- his church. His dad, Chuck and his sister Eden, are good examples of what Christians should look like and how they should act. They are the real thing and not hypocrites. They are not perfect by any means, but their love reigns.
Even if you are not a religious person- don't pass over this story! It is touching, emotional and powerful!