Tom's life is falling apart. His wife, who has been secretly cheating on him, demands a divorce and wins custody of their two kids. He gets fired from his job, and the resulting financial instability might also mean that he will lose his Indiana farm. Following the advice of a friend, he relocates to California and attempts to get a real estate license, but his heart is not in it. Eventually, he lands a job selling computerized feeding equipment to dairy farmers and also agrees to a low-paid position as a circuit-riding preacher with the Methodists that mainly feeds his soul. The latter seems an odd fit for a Communist-leaning Catholic, but it somehow works well for both the shepherd and his flocks. Yet there exists a longing in Tom's heart to be reunited with his children, a longing that leads him to a desperate plan.
In an intriguing blend of human drama, religion, politics, opinion, and history, Morgan offers up a passionate story of a man determined to overcome his circumstances and live out his faith. Tom, as the narrator, bounces back and forth between his formative years and the present, revealing moments of his past that have influenced his current thinking, beliefs, and actions. Despite his leftist sensibilities, he is also staunchly Christian, disproving the common belief that these traits can never coexist in a person. As a protagonist he is sympathetic, at times heroic, and unafraid to stand up to the challenges that affect his family and his parishioners, even if that means following Christ's example of clearing out the temple by breaking out a shotgun in his church. Morgan's tale of his eponymous character is both entertaining and informative. And like all good stories, it leaves the reader wanting more.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review