Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The Spider in the Well by Lee Ann Ward

Publish America, 1592865992, $14.95

On the outset, it appears Paul Ford has everything. He is the star player on his college football team with a chance at the pros, is dating the prettiest girl on campus, and has a loving, faith-filled family. It stands to reason Paul should feel quite happy about his good fortune, yet he continues to be haunted by an accident involving his kid brother for which, despite everybody's objections, he feels responsible.

Worry about football, worry about the future, don't dwell on the past, he is told time and again. Paul certainly does his share of that, and when the final home game ends with a tragedy that seals Paul's fate, he is left to do more serious thinking, and praying. All at once everything falls away: career, love, security, and even his family is threatened by the course of events. Being reminded of the one certainty in his life - God's love - helps him to better examine God's will for his life, and like the spider in the wall he once tried to protect as a child Paul comes to trust in the Lord's protection and guidance in the challenges that face him during his recovery.

A short yet uplifting novel, The Spider in the Well is a novel suitable for young and older readers alike, a fable emphasizing how one can turn tragedy into glory, and how material success does not necessarily yield the treasure God wants for us.

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