In honor of Father’s Day I am reviewing an especially good book for fathers and sons to read, and I have been able to include a Q&A session with the author. I asked him several questions and I have those and his answers at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
Sam Pennington’s dad has died and his world has been turned upside down. He and his mum have been forced to leave the farm where they lived with his father and are now settled in a public housing apartment in East London, hopes and dreams gone. Sam is angry and his anger finds its way out through his fists. He is on the brink of being kicked out of school when he meets Jerry, a trainer at a local boxing gym. It turns out Sam has talent in the ring and he begins training for competitive boxing. Sam trains well and advances in the field but Jerry holds back on sharing his faith with Sam. This proves to have disastrous consequences for both of them until Jerry finally confronts the demons of his past which he has pushed to the very back of his mind. The journey that Sam and Jerry take to their faith is filled with mishaps and complications until you are certain they are not going to get to God, after all. In Luke Wordley’s debut novel, you find the expertise of one who has written many novels even though this is his first, his obvious talent for writing making it a gripping read. The Fight is a compelling story of loss and victory, a first-rate story of fathers and children making their way to one another. It is written in an easy to read conversational way; no flowery descriptions of the characters or the setting. And yet, it has all you need to picture Sam’s circumstances and the despair he is feeling. It flows from one word to the next, one page to the next, until you have finished the story. In other words, hard to put down! This is a story for the heart in all of us, not just for men! I give it five stars! I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review. These words are my opinion.
I am looking forward to Luke Wordley’s next novel which I understand he is getting started on now. I had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions about his writing, which you can read below.
Was there a specific motivating factor that made you set your novel around boxing, as opposed to some other masculine theme?
The overall storyline for The Fight came to me in a matter of minutes, so it wasn’t really a planned, thought-through process. I’m always nervous of saying that I believe God gave me the story in case people think it’s awful, but it honestly felt like that. My over-riding desire as a writer though is to write books which appeal to men as well as women so, perhaps on a sub-conscious level, my interest in boxing as a young man may have had a part to play.
Did you read as you were growing up and if so, did that influence your writing style and/or the type of writing you want to do?
As a child, I grew up reading authors like Wilbur Smith and Frederick Forsyth. When I came to faith aged 19, I naturally looked for similarly paced, adventure stories, but with a Christian theme to inspire me in my new faith. I didn’t find many, in the UK at least, and I think frustration at that gap in the market partly inspired me to begin writing myself.
Do you have a favorite author or style of book you like to read and do you read for leisure (rest and relaxation)?
I actually mainly read biographies and true accounts – both Christian and secular. I love stories of faith, and testimonies of God changing lives, as well as political memoirs. I do like a good John Grisham though. What a story-teller!
I am increasingly reading to research for my next book projects too. The book I am currently writing is set in Africa, a continent I have visited many times. The story took an unexpected turn recently, with one of my minor characters being abducted into child soldiering, so I have started researching the subject. I have just finished reading War Child by Emmanual Jal – one of the most extraordinary accounts I have ever read.
Read more about Luke at lukewordley.com