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A Favor Returned

by Duke Southard, Tuftonboro, NH

OUT OF PRINT

A Favor Returned Jennifer Proctor, a wispy yet hauntingly beautiful young girl of ten, already qualified as one of those rare saints on earth. She had developed a sense of compassion far beyond her years and, unlike most children her age, is completely unselfish. When she innocently applies a gift that she neither understands nor wants to save a young boy's father from certain death in a racecar accident, Jennie affects the destiny of a whole family in ways she could not have dreamed. Only when her path crosses once again with Ross Becker years later does she learn of the powerful impact her kind-spirited intervention had on so many people and how he must now return her favor.

Set between 1940 and 1963, A Favor Returned captures the changing dynamics of families, communities and the country in the post-World War II era as prosperity and a confidence bordering on arrogance seemed to envelope the nation. The historical background mingles with the thread of possibility that there truly may be people on this earth who are in the world but not of it, people whose decency and honesty appear too good to be true. Coupled with this is the unsettling possibility that unselfish and compassionate actions by these "saints on earth" may set into motion devastating and tragic consequences. Jennifer Proctor firmly believes that there is a loving God who has placed some people on earth to help others be happier but time and again she must face the frustrating fact that He doesn't explain how the process is supposed to work. When Ross Becker is faced with the final heart-wrenching dilemma of A Favor Returned, he at last realizes the desperate and utter truth of Jennie's frustration.

Duke Southard is a resident of Tuftonboro, NH and a retired educator. The catalyst for the novel occurred during a true life event Southard experienced as a child when he saw his father survive a horrifying racecar crash. He is quick to point out that the story is fictional, but he drew on real emotions to give an authentic flavor to the writing and storyline. Set between 1940 and 1963 in the Philadelphia and south Jersey area, A Favor Returned explores such themes as family and community dynamics and the power of uninvited intervention into people's lives by those we could call "saints on earth." Duke is currently at work on a second novel as well as a non-fiction journal, writing from his home in Tuftonboro, NH.

Fiction. 305 pages, 6"x9" clothbound, color dust jacket, with original painting from NH artist, Susan McCarthy. $25.00.

 
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