NON-PROPHET MURDERS, by Becky Wooley, is a "Must Read!" about church in small town America. Funny, exciting, insightful and good drama pushes the plot to highs.
I was hooked by the engaging story, in the beginning, that told of a small town preacher committing “adultery”, with not one bored housewife, but "serial" repeats of his lusts. Thousands of real life ministers just like him have quietly been chased off from church after church, and continue to thrive in Churches across America.
My childhood Sunday school teachers, were similar to those in the book; Sunday School teachers who taught religion with only absolute good or bad, no grey. No room for thought or refection, just react!
This is not a boring book. It is a read so well done, that I couldn’t wait to turn the pages. The characters and plot development are astonishing. This book may well become a movie, and you will imagine DiCaprio and Brad Pitt taking on the establishment and “Windy, holier than thou, blowhards” that reflect many real ministers in this novel. It is a skillful mix of unique culture, drama, humor, and cutting insights that will keep you reading, smiling and thinking. I found myself telling friends about events in the book over lunch and at the office.
· A suffering woman walks in the door of THE TRUE CHURCH needing grace and finds damnation instead, and is told that she is going to hell. She of course prefers to just go away from that church!
· A famous local preacher, and buffoon, dies while preaching, laughing as he says: “I see the rapture”, all of course on local Sunday TV, while a thief outside steals cars, to fund a preacher’s financial coffers.
· A judgmental preacher of the ‘One True Church’ wants to baptize a young girl, so her father can qualify to be an elder and gets fried by an electrical short in the baptistry. (murder)? The scent is so bad the ‘One True Church’ members eventually adjourn to Starbucks.
· Young idealists form a group called “Deep Water” and meet under a bar, called “The Dive”, and teach that people should “dive in!”. They don’t buy the “lifeless” religion of the establishment, but still find themselves targeted by someone who is out to murder 4 preachers, all who have serious short comings in their lives. The young preacher of “The Dive” has as his most pressing love desire, to comfort the daughter of the minister of the One True Church.
The book describes depressed minister's wives who reflect on their lives without security, friends or stability, because of the obsession and ego centered "deluded" husbands that consider themselves prophets of God, when they are in fact, little men to be pitied. One must wonder why they simply don't go out and get a "real job", but then they would lose the relative ease of preparing sermons, visiting the hospital on Mondays, playing golf on Thursdays, and traveling to hold "Gospel Meetings".
This book took me back to a place that I had lived and raised emotions that I had forgotten for 40 years. If you lived in Arkansas, Texas , Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas or Indiana, you will in the stories of this book, see a reflection of a culture, as if sent by time machine.
Becky Wooley, writes from first hand observance of facts, as she has been a minister’s wife and former church secretary for many years. “She knows where the bodies are buried”, and indeed when I picked up her book, it immediately felt like I had been there, in her world and knew the people her novel described. I suspect there are a few "ministers" that would have preferred this book not be written and that is good. Because our nation has too long...