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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
400 pages
Apr 2005
Bethany House

Glimpses of Paradise

by James Scott Bell

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Two high school friends struggle against the ideals set for them by their families on the eve of World War I. Zee Miller dreams of being an actress, but even the thought is abominable to her widowed father, a Baptist minister. Doyle Lawrence, son of a prestigious lawyer, has his future planned out for him – following in his father’s footsteps and marrying the “right” young lady (not that dreadful Miller girl) – though what he really enjoys is writing poetry.

The next years tear them apart and shatter their lives. Zee travels to Los Angeles, pursuing her dream while ignoring the heartache she leaves behind. After abandoning his law studies in favor of becoming a soldier, Doyle can’t forget the horrors he’s seen and begins a life of aimless wandering.

When the two reunite in LA, neither is prepared for the changes and dangers they will face. Or how their past will come calling.

Written in Bell’s classic dramatic style, the plot keeps a steady pace as both main characters’ stories are told in turn. The well-drawn characters hold interest, though don’t fully pull the reader into the story. That slight bit of distance makes the reader feel more like an observer than a participant in the story. Historical details create a believable and engaging setting, and fans of Bell’s previous books about Kit Shannon will enjoy her role in this story. Recommended for historical fiction buffs. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Bell's signature courtroom drama follows a path of unexpected turns.

James Scott Bell brings unforgettable characters to life in a story encompassing rural Nebraska, the battlefields of France, and the Hollywood of the '20s. Action, suspense, and romance are permeated with themes of faith, doubt, and reconciliation--themes as relevant today as nearly a century ago.

Zee Miller, a minister's restless daughter, dreams of becoming a movie star, and Doyle Lawrence, the son of a wealthy lawyer, is expected to follow his father in the practice of law. But the high school friends enter a caldron of conflict when war breaks out and changes everyone's plans.

After soldiering in France, Doyle returns home a disillusioned doughboy. Rather than resuming his studies, he sets out on an aimless journey, and by the time he lands amid the bustle of Los Angeles, he is clinging to society's bottom rung.

Zee, the girl Doyle once loved, has also fled to L.A. to pursue an acting career. Now harboring a dark secret, she finds her world populated by a troubling mixture of bootleggers, thugs, and ruthless opportunists.

Far from their small-town roots, their lives will once again intersect under circumstances neither could have predicted.