TEARS ON THE CHURCH HOUSE FLOOR by Dan Pratt

TEARS ON THE CHURCH HOUSE FLOOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this debut memoir, an engineer revisits his family’s most difficult moments and shares realizations about God that helped him through.

“Our neighborhood was fit for a Rockwell painting,” Pratt writes. “We were a typical early ’60s family.” But, like so many other “typical” families, they endured hardships and difficulties; Pratt’s father left the family for another woman, the author writes; his mother had difficulty, as a divorced single mother, finding work and even housing. They and the author’s sister ended up in a simple duplex on the “wrong side of the tracks” in Springfield, Tennessee. Despite this, Pratt writes that he saw God working within his life, eventually bringing his father home and later introducing the author to his own future wife. Pratt would go on to become a successful engineer in Texas; his work took him all over the world. But the author focuses on the idea that when everything is going well, things can fall apart: “The season of dancing would yield to a season of mourning.” Tragically, his son Joshua’s first child was stillborn; the same year, the family lost the author’s mother-in-law as well as a beloved pet. While relating these tragedies, however, Pratt takes the opportunity to explore the story of Job, the nature of God’s help, and the way his family eventually healed. Overall, the author does an excellent job of imbuing seemingly ordinary events with meaning by weaving in numerous biblical references. For example, he blends the stories of Ruth, David and Goliath, and Paul with various memories, such as when Pratt’s mother called the police on him for leaving the house without permission when he was 9 or when Pratt’s disabled son prepared to navigate the Atlanta airport by himself. The main focus though, is on the year of losses, which leaves some other accounts underdeveloped, such as Pratt’s time in Spain. However, for Christian readers, Pratt provides excellent examples of his conviction that “With God there is always a rest of the story.”

A concise overview of how strong beliefs helped a family through trying times.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-973623-04-5
Page count: 132pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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