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  Inspirational Fiction Review   


Sutter's Cross
By W. Dale Cramer
Bethany House, 2002
Trade paper, $12.99 (394 pages)
ISBN : 0-7642-2783-1

Sutter's Cross takes as its theme the intriguing question, how would people of faith react to a holy person among them in this day and age. 

When a stranger named Harley shows up at the Sutter's Cross Community Church's dinner on the ground wearing Jake Mahafferty's favorite jeans, Jake's annoyed and makes a mental note to talk with his wife Lori about her enthusiastic spring cleaning. No one from the congregation recognizes Harley but they're inclined not to say anything since he's thin and there's more than enough food to go around. 

Most of the people in the Appalachian Mountain town have known one another all their lives and take any "get together"  as an occasion to gossip, network, and compare notes. While Harley doesn't exactly fit into their comfortable middle-class world, Miss Agnes Dewberry can vouch for him and that's good enough for most locals. 

After a tour of Vietnam, Web Holcombe came back to his hometown determined to "....transform the town, almost single-handedly, from a sleepy hamlet to a thriving tourist mecca ...." His plans have provided economic stabilty for Sutter's Cross but haven't increased Web's popularity. 

Polar opposites Web and Harley provide the town and the novel with an unusual set of events leaving the community changed forever. 

First time novelist, W. Dale Cramer, has written an inspirational novel incorporating questions about the environmental impact of development upon communities and whether or not Christians are stewards of the earth, how families pass on morality, and how churches market themselves. 

The author, a husband, father, and electrician, lives in northern Georgia and has published several works of short fiction. 


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews


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