The Storm by Jay Toups
I don’t do book reviews very often. In the past, the reviews have always been hobby related. Not today, though.
Good authors make connections with their readers. They want us to see – hear- feel – what their characters see- hear- feel. Jay Toups manages to succeed in doing just that in his book The Storm: A Time of Mercy, Choices and Hope.
Although Toups lives in the Deep South, all of us walk the same streets, visit the same places, smell the same breezes that he does. Geographically one may be a world away, but the folks that populated his life are the same as the people that you and I see every day. People you know, people I know – just different names.
The first half of the book is a coming of age story that reads like “The Wonder Years”, a childhood filled with mostly pleasant memories – the woods, the fishing, and the family – always family. Oh, yes, and the occasional scrape. It’s a young life that’s filled with promise and possibilities.
Along the way, he gets help growing up from teachers, mentors, and other adults that influence his life. Toups’ experiences are our experiences as we recognize that we, too, have had people who’ve helped us.
As you read about his childhood, you read it with a gentle smile on your face, nodding your head when you recall that you have had similar experiences. Then it turns to a bitter-sweet moment as he visits his grandmother for what he doesn’t realize will be the last time. The scene brings a tear to the eye and leaves a lump in the throat.
Reality of the real world sinks in during the second half of the book as Toups navigates his way through trials of character and strength that one cannot begin to imagine. As you’re reading the book, you have to keep reminding yourself that the characters in his book are not fictional creations; they are real flesh and blood. It’s that good!
Through it all, it is his Family and Faith that keeps him grounded.
Always his Family.
Always his Faith.