Book Review: A Dream Within – Five Stars

Two weeks ago I called the author, Jamie Greening, and attempted to interview him for this blog. That worked out like it usually does when I talk to Jamie: we strayed from the topic immediately and wound up concluding the call 30 minutes later with no hint of an interview.

In the past, I have gone on to simply make up the interview based on knowledge of the author. I’ve always told you that’s the case, so it wasn’t like I was Joe Biden or something. But today I will not fabricate, plagiarize, or recycle an old interview with Brandy Vallance and just change the names. (Her books, by the way, are excellent and should be read!)

Instead I will tell you that Jamie is one of the top writers in any genre. His books are always a delight, and while his profile photo has been used to gain contributions to several soup kitchens by organizations that ignore copyright laws, he’s a fine human with a heart of gold.

Far from homeless, he’s gainfully employed as a pastor, and as an author. I first met him in the middle of a hay field in Wisconsin. Nothing deep there, no bodies to be buried under the light of the moon, but we both have the same publisher, Athanatos Publishing Group, and are part of a stable of excellent writers who inhabit the outskirts of Christian fiction. Any of the authors you find there will give a great read, but premier among them is Jamie Greening.

His latest book, A Dream Within, is part of the Butch Gregory series, and by far the finest of the lot. My review from Amazon is below, but suffice it to say that you need to buy a copy of this, and then promptly review it yourself on Amazon.

Jamie Greening has always colored outside the lines in his writing. That’s what makes him worth reading. Anyone with more than a modicum of ability can write the bland version of Christian fiction. All that is required is a lack of character depth, no cursing, no violence, and at most in the sex department, two white people almost kissing.

Greening sinks his teeth into some of the great moral issues of our day in his books, and yet this book is a departure from his usual story telling – and it is magnificent. Instead of a continuing narrative involving the characters he’s evolved over the course of writing his past novels, he throws them all into a world where ambiguity, evil, and differing points of view provide pieces to the story, and challenge each of the primary characters.

I read the book in very short order. It was one of those reads that made you resent your employer for insisting that you be awake at work and not flipping through the book that kept you up all night to savor the best parts once again.

His writing is always engaging, and with the exception of one very strange expression involving circling a city block (must be a Texas thing) the work is flawless.

I heartily recommend the book and give it five stars for being exactly what Christian fiction needs. And, if you aren’t a Christian fiction reader, read it anyway – there’s a darned good yarn being told.

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