Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Luke Wordley
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
“Because when he first walked in, I saw a sad, wounded kid, and I wanted to help him. Now I just see potential glory, title fights, and championship belts. I thought I was beyond that,” Jerry confesses in Luke Wordley’s novel, The Fight.
At three hundred and ninety-two pages, this paperback targets not only those who like stories about the sport of boxing; many will become engrossed in the multi-leveled relationships of pain, loss, and forgiveness. With no profanity but some slang, the topics of physical abuse, alcohol, and drug use would not be appropriate for immature readers. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.
In this tome set in current day London, fifteen year old Sam Pennington’s last three years have been rough. After his father died in an accident, his alcoholic mother and he are forced to move into low-income public housing. Problems escalate when he has to change schools three times due to his temper and attitude, leaving him angry and full of rage.
Standing up to anyone who gets in his way, he becomes the victim in a gang beating but a kind-hearted teen rescues him, taking him to a nearby boxing club. There thirty-nine year old Jerry Ambrose, a washed out professional boxer turned trainer, notices his quickness, alertness, and determination.
Not being able to control the burning desire to hurt and cause pain, both man and boy relate to each other yet cannot forget or forgive their pasts. As Jerry takes Sam under his wing to teach discipline and self-control both in and out of the ring, the two feel God’s presence meshed within their lives.
When Sam rises in the ranks from British amateur middleweight champion to his first professional bout, Jerry must put his personal demons aside to help the young boy find his own way. Causing hurtful relationships and losing loved ones, both lead separate paths, hoping to find peace and happiness.
A fast read, this first novel by the author is well-written with descriptive, believable characters who want to be free from the pain, anger, and hopelessness that surrounds them. While readers anticipate the outcome of the fight in the ring, the internal fight for redemption and salvation becomes the pivotal point of the story.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.