Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: The Recruit, Cindy Grantham Brown

Recently, I read The Recruit, a debut novel written by Cindy Grantham Brown. Ms. Brown grew up in and around Memphis, Tennessee, and began writing stories in the third or fourth grade—in an attempt to avoid reading books for book reports. Instead, she would read the summaries, imagine her own versions of the books, and write reports that received high grades. She got away with this by seeking out books by "Author Unknown," which teachers wouldn't be able to find to check the story line.

This tactic failed her in the 10th grade, when the entire class had to read the same autobiography and write reports. Failing to turn in a report, she flunked the class. Yes, she went to summer school to make it up so she could advance to 11th grade.

Ms. Brown now resides in Arkansas with her husband. Five of her six children are married, and the Browns have eight grandchildren.

I was approached to review The Recruit, and agreed to do so after I had a look at the Amazon page, but I wasn't sure what kind of book it was. The description said it was a novel, but I couldn't tell the category. Was it Young Adult, general fiction, or something else? As I dug deeper, I learned it was a semi-autobiographical work that talked about biker gangs, and I had a few doubts about what I had gotten myself into. How raw was this going to be? I asked myself.

I took a leap of faith, and resolved to read it.

Here's the back cover description:

The Recruit will take you on the ride of your life!

Jess Talbot has already seen sorrow in her young life. Now one bad decision will destroy her dignity – will she also pay with her life?

At the age of twenty-one she is recovering from the breakup of her marriage. In an effort to get back into the social scene she hangs out at a Memphis, Tennessee park along with other rebellious teens and young adults. Here she meets her newest friend, Lisa Burns, who likes to party and hang out with bad boy bikers. Vulnerable and na├»ve, Jess goes with Lisa to a Kentucky MotoCross Rally for the weekend – which turns out to be anything but the fun, safe weekend she had imagined.

Unknown to Jess, Lisa is an initiate into a biker gang, the worst of its kind. Her job is to find that special girl who will be this year’s recruit. Will Jess figure out what dangers are prepared for her? Will she be forever scarred by her devastating decision to spend the weekend with Lisa and her friends? Will she escape or will the results be deadly for Jess…

Through the Grace of God, Cindy Grantham Brown survived the devastating events that this story is based upon. She now tells the fictionalized tale in the hopes that others will never have to face the possibility she did – that of a horrible and painful death; murder at the hands of an evil biker gang.

I'm glad I read The Recruit. Although the formatting is a bit unconventional, and I would have wanted more depth of characterization for some of the characters, the spell of the story caught me, and I couldn't put the book down. Ms. Brown doesn't share details of the horrific things she/Jess went through in a graphic way, which relieved my trepidation on that count. It was written from the mind set of a woman who has come to know Jesus Christ and his grace the hard way, and wants to keep other young women from making the same mistakes and wrong choices that she did.
Thank you, Cindy Brown, for a poignant novel. The Recruit can be found on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Ms. Ward for reading and reviewing THE RECRUIT. THE RECRUIT has already allowed me to talk to and pray with women that have undergone fearful and unwanted devastation in their lives. I hope THE RECRUIT will continue allowing me opportunities to do service for His Great Kingdom.


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