“Daddy Jack’s Place” is a recipient of the BREW Readers’ Choice Award – Christian Fiction 2021/2022.
Jack Boussereau had a rough childhood, having to fend off the consequences of his father’s alcoholism. That is until he’s saved by God. Since then, he devoted his life to preaching the word of God. When he becomes the preacher in Addison, North Carolina, and marries the gorgeous Pati Ann, he seems to live a charmed life. But it wasn’t to last. A life-altering discovery regarding Patti Ann drives him away from Addison and into a life of solitude when he’s just twenty-seven years old. He tries to outrun his past by becoming a lineman until he finally settles in Mobile, Alabama, where he soon becomes a valued member of the community known as Daddy Jack and opens a shop: Daddy Jack’s Place. But what exactly is Jack running from? What happened to Patti? Can we outrun our past? Should we?
I admit I was hesitant to read a book that has religion as a core topic. In my experience, these books often overlook character development or plot engagement in favor of a moralizing message, but I’m elated to say this is not the case.
For starters, while it’s true that the novel has a heavily-religious tone, it’s not the only subject. As in all the books I’ve read of her, Priscilla Shuler tackles racism with a heavy dose of reality, this time involving real-life heroes such as Dr. Martin Luther King, and addressing one of the ugliest sides of racial inequality: racism within a religious community and how even when they professed the same faith, black people faced segregation. I commend the author for her relentless pursuit of racial equality. Second, both main religious characters, Jack and Bobby, not only talk the talk but walk the walk, and they take real-life actions to embody the compassion and kindness that Christ exhorted. Finally, the book also offers some valuable life messages that readers could benefit from, whether they’re Christian or not. My favorite one was that’s never too late for living life to the fullest.
This novel stands out for the expertise with which the author describes sensitive subjects. It takes language mastery to describe appalling scenes without falling into unnecessary details just for the shock value or to portray an erotic scene with class and tact. Finally, it takes a veritable master to describe the plight of African-Americans without resorting to platitudes or cliches, especially when the author isn’t a part of this community. Instead, Schuler uses powerful and thought-provoking phrases such as the following: “I’ve never known, or been able to imagine, how it is for black people to always need to find safety to just live an everyday existence.” With words like this, Shuler created a novel that embodies empathy and allyship, which is exactly what our world needs.
“Daddy Jack’s Place” by Priscilla B. Shuler is a memorable piece of fiction, and I gladly grant it 5 out of 5 stars.
“Daddy Jack’s Place” is an ideal read for anyone who likes Christian fiction, especially historical fiction. It’s also a significant read for anyone interested in understanding and fighting racism. Readers who enjoy personal narratives and character-driven novels shouldn’t miss this book. The book broaches sensitive topics, especially child abuse and incest. Survivors of abuse or sensitive readers should take notice, though as I mentioned, all the delicate subjects are approached with outstanding sensitivity. I would not recommend this book to atheists or people who feel uncomfortable with the mention of religious subjects.
AF, 25 Feb 22
- Title: Daddy Jack’s Place
- Author: Priscilla B Shuler
- Genre: Christian Fiction
- Publication Date: 30 October 2015
- ISBN or ASIN: B017EHJ8TU
- Number of words: Unknown
- Minimum audience age: 13
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 1
- Religious themes: 5
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 1
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 1
- Other adult themes: 1
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 5 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 4 stars
- Other factors: 5 stars
- Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
Know more about Priscilla B Shuler via https://thechrysalisbrewproject.com/2021/11/16/meet-our-author-priscilla-b-shuler/.
View “Daddy Jack’s Place” on Amazon.com.
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