Sunday, August 21, 2011

Courageous by Randy Alcorn

book cover

by Randy Alcorn

based on the screenplay by Alex Kendrick & Stephen Kendrick

ISBN-13: 978-1-4143-5846-8
Trade Paperback: 375 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Released: August 1, 2011

Source: Review copy from Tyndale House Publishers.

Book Description from Back Cover:
As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they’re quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark.

They know that God desires to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, but their children are beginning to drift farther and farther away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those who are most dear to them? When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God...and to their children?

My Review:
Courageous is a Christian general fiction novel with a fair amount of action. It's a novel based on a movie by the same name, and it sometimes read like it (especially during the action scenes). However, it had more depth than I was expecting from a movie-turned-novel.

The main characters were varied, complex, and reacted realistically to the various struggles they faced. The details about police work, gangs, and families brought the story alive in my imagination. However, a couple of the police scenes did seem set up (unrealistic) in order to get a laugh. Suspense was built by relational tension as well as physical danger.

It was an interesting, entertaining novel. I'm not sure how inspired fathers will be by it (though I think most will be), but I do think men will enjoy the book. There's action, suspense, humor, and more.

Some Bible verses were quoted and were the basis for the characters' motivation to become better fathers. There was no bad language or sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this novel for itself and for it's message.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
A Royal-red Ford F-150 SuperCrew rolled through the streets of Albany, Georgia. The pickup’s driver brimmed with optimism, so much that he couldn’t possibly foresee the battles about to hit his hometown.

Life here is going to be good, thirty-seven-year-old Nathan Hayes told himself. After eight years in Atlanta, Nathan had come home to Albany, three hours south, with his wife and three children. New job. New house. New start. Even a new truck.

Sleeves rolled up and windows rolled down, Nathan enjoyed the south Georgia sunshine. He pulled into a service station in west Albany, a remodeled version of the very one he’d stopped at twenty years earlier after getting his driver’s license. He’d been nervous. Wasn’t his part of town—mostly white folks, and in those days he didn’t know many. But gas had been cheap and the drive beautiful.

Read more from chapter one.

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