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NANA'S ARK by Michael Borich



Pub Date: March 1st, 1984
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Religious re-awakening in the lonely life of a 58-year-old Iowa grandmother: a message-heavy Fundamental/st Protestant inspirational novel--somewhat enlivened, however, by a sailboat trip down the Mississippi. Before this happy odyssey takes place, recently widowed Dorothy Morgan is sunk in restless, arid depression. Why, she asks herself, can't she be happy with 240 acres of good farmland, two attentive sons, and their families? But her soul, like her untended farm buildings, is crumbling; not even nice widower Pastor Bill is able to help; there's even the possibility that (unconsciously) Dorothy has attempted vehicular suicide. Then, however, in the deepest pit of despair she hear's God's voice, ""scouring"" her and promising a renewed life in faith. And there's a new life waiting for Dorothy's sulky grandson Ludy, too--once he starts working on Nana's farm, discovering the unfinished boat that Grandpa had been building. . . and getting advice from nice Mark Henry, a young man Dorothy immediately takes to because he too has been reborn. (One Biblical passage, he tells her, made him feel ""like somebody had plugged my foot into a wall socket."") So Dorothy pitches in with Mark and Ludy; soon the boat is ready. And before long, in spite of family worrying, Dorothy, Ludy, and Mark (briefly), a pet raccoon, and a mynah bird all set off down the Mississippi. Through calms and rapids they'll meet adventures: their boat is stolen (they steal it back); the engine goes; Dorothy is propositioned by a sinning river boat captain; there are near-misses with other craft; and ultimately they sink off Natchez--and have to be rescued before a family reunion and more born-again experiences at the finale. With a good deal about boat-building and outfitting, locks and docks, and river sights: a pleasant adventure to accompany the Message--but still for the inspirational audience only.