Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry is a wonderful example of what I think Christian Fiction should be. First of all, Fabry is a top-notch wordsmith, a writer who uses words well, not only to tell a story but to set a mood. Secondly, Almost Heaven is the story of a man's life, and that life includes spiritual struggles. Those struggles are addressed in the book, indeed could even be the focus of the book, they are not tacked on as an extra that could easily have been omitted. While in some ways it would be a shame to skip this book just because it is Christian fiction, on the other hand, it is an overt story of faith, and probably not something someone who doesn't care for religion would like.
Almost Heaven is the story of Billy Allman and of an angel, Malachi, who has been sent to watch over Billy. Billy is from Dogwood West Virginia and has lived a life filled with tragedy. His life work ends up being a small low-powered AM Bluegrass Gospel radio station. The chapters alternate between Billy and Malachi and in some ways the story is as much Malachi's as Billy's. Malachi is having his own doubts about the One running the show after seeing things that happen to Billy (and after being called away from Billy at a time when something obviously happened).
Fans of June Bug (my review) will enjoy seeing June Bug again but not having read that book will not cause you a problem with this one.
I'd like to thank the Tyndale Blog Network for providing a complimentary review copy. Grade: A-