Friday, July 18, 2014

Dynamo by Eleanor Gustafson~A Review~

Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania's mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of show jumpers owned by Rob and Katie Chilton. Throw in a volatile gaited stallion named Dynamo, and Jeth will do anything to work there. He earns his living by training and showing Rob's jumpers, but Dynamo is his primary passion.

Everything changes when God enters his life—in the unconventional form of a hard slap by an old girlfriend—and ignites a new, greater passion within him. But along with fervor comes fear at the undeniable evidence of God's hand on his life. Inexplicable events, both good and bad, make him moan plaintively, "Why does God do this to me? I get the feeling I'm being set up for something."

He is, indeed. Jeth's life is anything but predictable, much like the God he serves. The real Dynamo and his ultimate trainer emerge out of an excruciating mix of disaster and brokenness, which are never beyond the reach of redemption.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (April 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 162911006X
ISBN-13: 978-1629110066
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Ellie Gustafson writes pretty good books these days. She's been working at it long enough to learn a few things. It all started in 1978 with her first published article, "I Saw a Thing Today," about a couple of weasels she met on a stone wall in Vermont. A bunch of short stories and other articles followed, and then came Appalachian Spring. BIG learning curve. The editor slashed characters, whole chapters, and made a lot of red marks everywhere. Had to rewrite the entire book--on a brand-new Apple IIe computer that she had no idea how to operate. The novel was well received, however, which led to more novels and more painful learning experiences.

In many of her stories, Ellie explores the cosmic struggle between good and evil in light of God's overarching work of redemption. Having graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois--where she met her husband while teaching horsemanship (funny story there)--she has since been actively involved in church life as a minister's wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. A host of other experiences, from mice wars to house building, help bring color and humor to her fiction. She does like to laugh a lot.

She and her husband live in Massachusetts, where he teaches online college courses in philosophy. They travel a fair amount, spend time with three children and eight grandchildren, and enjoy camping at the family forest in Chester, Vermont.

Some have said that her latest novel, Dynamo, is her best book, so old dogs can learn from experience!

  Dynamo by Eleanor Gustafson is such an excellent book. I thought it would be good when I read the back, but nothing prepared me for how fantastic it is.
  Jeth made mistakes in life like we all do, but he learned many lessons from his and tries to live differently.  Rob and Katie believe in Jeth and not many people ever had. Jeth knows nothing about God, but he has plenty of questions and not the ones you would expect.  Another wonderful character in this book is Maybelle. She isn’t in many scenes, but she plays a huge part as being Jeth’s angel and always is there to help him with whatever life throws at him.
  Nothing is common about this story.  It is so full of love, peace, forgiveness, life and loss. It is really, really a book to read. Eleanor Gustafson is a new author to me, but she is now a new favorite. If her other books are half as good as Dynamo they would be worth reading. I highly recommend Dynamo.

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Thank you to Whitaker House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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