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Sunday, June 2, 2013

God's Magnificent Beanfield

God's Magnificent Beanfield by Don Bowlin
Have a little faith. Those four words have traveled across time and space into conscious beings for far longer than anyone can recall. Faith exists within every variegated human species. To some, it is religion. To the consummate atheist, it is belief in mortal ability. Regardless of the terminology, every person encounters that delightful and somewhat exasperating belief.

God's Magnificent Beanfield, by Don Bowlin gives a view of one family's experience with having faith and realizing a miracle. John Kelly runs a farm north of Danaville, Florida. He is a descendant of Frank Kelly, the founder, a man who has spent his life building up the Kelly farm to what it would later become. The book contains the fruitful efforts put forth by several generations of the Kelly family, their love, faith, and power of religion that has given the story an idealistic, seemingly puritanical feel.

"When the storm moved north and started breaking up, a large rainbow with an odd shape appeared, just like it had last year. It was brighter and was pointing downward in the center of the fields, just like the first one. It faded within ten minutes or so... It was more than likely that everyone didn't sleep very well as they anticipated the next day. Each person had his or her own perspective on how the family affected by what had happened and what it meant, but they all knew it was God's work."

Bowlin weaves a solid, structured novel that reflects on a lifetime of hard work. The story is told with a single-minded clarity, deeply ensconced in Christianity and coming together in a rewarding manner towards the end.

"An unusual feeling had come over him. He knew without question the Lord was in the process of sending a powerful message to the United States and the world, not from the Middle East in general or the Holy Land but from a farm near a small town in northwest Florida ...further proof that God ruled the earth and at any time could use any part of it for his purposes."

A miracle occurs that speaks to every individual. Some will find religious significance, being the most obvious, since the book is rooted in religion. But in keeping an open mind, others will find a touching story richly detailed in the importance of family and maintaining ones beliefs.

Despite a slow beginning, the characters begin to share their own life burdens and mistakes that allows the reader to empathize and commiserate. Ultimately, the writing sprawls over various lives and creates an enticing and incandescent narrative.

With skillful grace, Bowlin has created a novel that contains a deeply compassionate soul. Every reader will walk away with something gained.

Don Bowlin grew up in a small northwest Florida farm town. He has spent many years in communications as a graphic designer, creative director, fine artist, and corporate advertising and public relations director. He is an Alumnus of Florida State University. He and his wife, Susan, live in Cypress, Texas.

God's Magnificent Beanfield by Don Bowlin, 2012 ISBN 978-1-4497-5192

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