From Goodreads: Young Brent Everett and his feisty Rottweiler Gracie hook up with a good-natured but ethically challenged street preacher with a roving romantic eye. Although Brent isn’t entirely sold on the preacher’s various money raising sidelines, he comes to love the raucous crowds flocking to the revivals. All goes well until Gracie bites a heckler and is thrown into the pound. After Brent rescues the dog, the two vagabonds enlist the aid of a gorgeous bodybuilder with a brutal left hook to ward off a bounty hunter on their tail. The subsequent chase takes them to the harsh high country of Bolivia, where Brent discovers that there are limits to what even the preacher can get away with.
This was a really good read! I was pulled into the novel almost immediately as Brent begins his life story, starting with his difficult home life and his flight from all he’s known in order to save his dog. This is a true coming of age story in which love conquers all, and I was enamored by it.
This story mainly deals with Brent and the Preacher’s travels all over America, setting up revivals, “counseling” women, transporting illegal immigrants, and caring for Gracie—a high strung, male dog that likes to bite. What I really enjoyed about this novel is that Brent, having run off with the Preacher prior to completing middle school, is unaware that the Preacher is actually a crook–just like many revival preachers were back in the day. Brent is oblivious, and the dramatic irony of the situation is phenomenal. I really enjoyed watching Brent mature over the years and become aware of his surroundings, slowly pushing the Preacher in the right direction—to redemption—creating the wonderful theme of change and love.
While this novel takes place in the present day, I found myself transported back to the past when revivals were big, especially in the south, and time seemed to move slower. While life is difficult, the Preacher and Brent do seem to live a more carefree life than those of us conforming to society and nine to five jobs, and I loved reading about Brent and the Preacher’s triumphs and failures as they travel the United States. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story; it is extremely well written and the visuals were perfect! Four stars.
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.