Books by Pamela Walker

PRAY HARD by Pamela Walker
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2001

A clumsy, vision-seeing, forever-weeping ex-convict is the unlikely catalyst in Walker's affecting story of a daughter's emotional healing after the untimely death of her father in a plane accident. Amelia's father Jed kept the field behind his house, which served as the runway for his plane, neatly mowed and debris-free. Before going away on a trip, he would remind his daughter to "keep the runway clear," which Amelia understood meant more than just picking up downed twigs; it meant "taking care of things" until he returned. But now that Jed's never coming home, the runway is literally and metaphorically covered in weeds and trash. Amelia barely passed sixth grade, and she and her mother have both retreated into a world of silent sorrow. The sorrow lies particularly heavy on Amelia, as she believes that she may have accidentally caused her father's death, a subject that so fills her with guilt and shame that she can neither talk about it nor heal. The arrival of Brother Mustard Seed, an annoying, bumbling, over-emotional yet well-meaning "sinner" who claims that he saw Jed in a vision, stirs up the family dynamic and allows Walker to explore the jumbled, quasi-mystical connections between belief and bravery, laughter and letting go. Brother Mustard Seed is an original creation, curious and contradictory, and like Amelia, readers should find him initially irritating though eventually almost endearing. Even if occasionally overburdened by its own symbolism, the book's twangy first person narrative keeps the reader engaged to the touching, tear-inducing end. (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >