In this short, Christian-based parable, the protagonist is treated to lessons on the meaning of life and love as he tries to save a former girlfriend.
Twenty-nine-year-old Harry Messruther, a former police officer, has terminal brain cancer. In order to spare his girlfriend Kate from suffering along with him, he breaks up with her without explaining why. Soon though, Kate’s mother notifies him that Kate has been kidnapped by a madman, and Harry promises to find and save her. Failing that, he takes another tack: He walks into the sea and drowns himself, hoping for divine intervention on her behalf once he arrives in heaven.
But death is not that simple. Harry arrives at a way station between earth and heaven, where he meets Jesus and the Archangels and finds that they are less than pleased with his actions. Says Gabriel: ”What did you think was going to happen, Harry? You would just come up. We’d give you a round of applause for killing yourself, strap a pair of wings to your back and send you back down to earth to kill [the madman] Levi? Preposterous.” Harry pleads his case and is granted 60 seconds on earth to save Kate, if he can find 60 good deeds that he has performed in his short lifetime.
This is an intriguing premise, although the book is more short story than novel; the tale is long on morality and short on novelistic detail regarding the characters. While readers gain some insight into Harry, the author predominantly focuses on relaying his message. This takes little away from the book, however, which attempts to tackle some of life’s big questions through Harry’s interaction with Jesus over the course of the tale.
For those who are seekers, the author’s straightforward style will resonate. Ultimately, Earning Sixty Seconds provides an engaging vehicle for faith-based readers wishing to examine their own life decisions along with Harry.
Also available as an ebook.