James Graham’s novel Finding Life is a well written, albeit somewhat predictable, story about faith and acknowledging what’s important in life before it’s too late. Graham’s loving and intelligent characters believe very strongly in the word of God – a belief that is put to the test when protagonist Chance Gordon’s life is derailed.
Chance’s circle includes: Wendy, the love of his life; Charlie, his lifelong friend; and Gramps, the wise family patriarch and local pastor. Chance is a good person, which Graham immediately establishes. Chance narrates his story, which includes an idyllic childhood in a small fishing community. However, this is completely overshadowed when Wendy enters his life and his efforts to win her heart ensue. This is more than a boy-meets-girl fairy tale and more than a boy-loses-girl heartbreak chronicle; it’s a love story on different levels, including love of self (not to be confused with selfishness) and love of God. Recognition of those feelings can’t happen without tragedy, which is exactly what Graham throws in the mix.
The author’s conversational style is easy going and his descriptive narrative is vivid without being distracting. He illustrates the beauty of coastal North Carolina and shows an affinity for its people.
Unfortunately, however, Chance’s fall from grace is predictable and not very credible because Graham is far too effective in defining Chance as a shining knight earlier in the story. When the author springs a few surprise twists on readers, these plot elements stretch the suspension of disbelief a bit too thin, particularly when it comes to medical issues. Nonetheless, Graham’s novel is engaging overall, even if rather implausible at times.
Also available as an ebook.