Publisher: Ignatius Press
Publication Date: 2014-04-08
When nine-year old C.J. Walker touches the arm of his mother's dead friend at her wake service and whispers the wish that she wouldn't be dead, he's just trying to do the right thing. But when the undertaker sees the woman's rosary sliding off her outstretched fingers and tumbling lazily down her raised left arm, the firestorm can't be held in check. Desperately frightened people well beyond the funeral home's city boundaries demand to know how many of their own loved ones might have been buried alive by the same criminal undertaker, or by any undertaker.
But proof that C.J. Walker can indeed raise the dead is secretly videoed, then publicly aired. In a single morning, with no preparations possible on the part of C.J.'s separated father, Joe, or his mother, Lynn, her home becomes a fortress and her son becomes a target. Grieving individuals desperate to see death let go of their loved ones surround the house to press in both day and night with appeals that soon become demands for C.J.'s attention and response, while squadrons of representatives from news, medical and scientific organizations wrestle to gain whatever footholds can be achieved.
But it is zeal-driven religious representatives and powerful government agencies who establish the closest positions and exert the greatest pressures on C.J. and his parents. They do it in pursuit of one overriding goal: to gain maximum control over the only absolute power on earth.
Through the ordeal, Lynn and Joe have pulled together with overriding goals to find a way to escape with C.J., to safely keep him hidden from every pursuer, and to make it possible for him to live a normal life again. And to do it all before he's stolen away under whatever government "protective custody" or "national interest" court order might suddenly be used like a hammer to cover his forced removal from his parents with a cloak of legality.
This is a book that really grabbed me, right from the start. I'm not giving anything away that's not already in the description: nine-year-old CJ Walker raises people (at first accidentally) from the dead.
Now, stop for a minute and think about that. This isn't a thriller. It's not a horror novel. It's a serious consideration of what that would mean for a normal kid and his family.
I couldn't stop thinking about this book the whole time I was reading it (which was admittedly longer than I wanted to be reading it, because I didn't have a full day just to spend with it). It's fast-paced and yet it has a way of getting into your brain and making you think.
What does it mean to be alive? What does it mean to be dead? And what are the implications of a boy having this ability?
This book is really a consideration of human nature and maybe even divine nature. It's a look at relationship and an examination of trust.
This might be one of the best novels I've read in a couple of years. It gets my highest recommendation. You won't be sorry you read it!
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