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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
289 pages
Jan 2007

A Bigger Life: An Eden Plain Novel

by Annette Smith

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Is it too late to salvage his marriage? After having an affair and getting a divorce, Joel Carpenter struggles with his past mistakes and their current consequences. Now he misses his ex-wife and is left with the responsibility of his young son, Colton. Joel also deals with questions about God, faith, forgiveness, and real love. In her novel A Bigger Life, Annette Smith writes of a man seeking more. A man seeking a bigger life.

The story is narrated by Joel and gives a glimpse into his thoughts on life in a small Texas town. As readers flip the pages, Joel reveals his feelings on his past marriage, being a divorced father, and making the mistake he made. Then, conflict arises when Kari, Joel’s ex-wife, finds out she has cancer. In the midst of the pain and struggles that Joel and Kari have to face, Joel finds the bigger life he’s looking for when he finally accepts the forgiveness and truth that Christ offers him.

Although the message is one many readers can relate to, Smith’s latest novel falls short in its delivery. The style is choppy and the dialogue a bit tedious and unrealistic. Also, the way the book is written in present, first-person narrative is at times hard to follow. These qualities make reading this book a challenge.

A Bigger Life may have a story and theme worth developing, however many readers will have difficulty getting past the less-than-action-packed dialogue and blunt, short sentences in order to realize that. – Amy Nickerson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Joel Carpenter's life was never supposed to turn out this way. But after making a careless choice four years ago, his marriage was permanently shattered. Living in a small town deep in the heart of Texas, he now finds himself estranged from his ex-wife, Kari, and sharing custody of their son.

Just when Joel thinks the worst is behind him, he realizes he is facing his greatest challenge yet. And in the midst of deep tragedy, Joel is learning that forgiveness is way more important than freedom. Hopefully it’s not too late.