Almost Heaven is the story of Billy Allman - a guy that can't get a break in life but nevertheless he doesn't let it get him down. He's the guy who should reject God as uncaring and unloving but he doesn't. Billy praises God with his entire being in all that he says and does. Billy is the Christian we all want to be although we don't want to live his life to do so.
Intertwined is the story of an angel - Malachi. I enjoyed the unique perspective although I felt the guardian angel concept was 'flawed' in that he was called away from Billy at times. I understood the times that God commanded the angel to not interfere; not because He didn't love Billy but because trials are just a part of life due to sin in this fallen world.
Almost Heaven is high quality Christian fiction among many mediocre works. Fabry is able to write a story that entertains, intrigues and challenges his readers to be better Christians without being overtly pushy with his faith. I was thrilled to see he even tied in a previous story June Bug although reading it is not necessary to fully appreciate Almost Heaven.
A thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of Almost Heaven for my reading and review.
From the Tyndale website:
Billy Allman is a hillbilly genius. People in Dogwood, West Virginia, say he was born with a second helping of brains and a gift for playing the mandolin but was cut short on social skills. Though he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back, they were right. Billy longs to use his life as an ode to God, a lyrical, beautiful bluegrass song played with a finely tuned heart. So with spare parts from a lifetime of collecting, he builds a radio station in his own home. People in town laugh. But Billy carries a brutal secret that keeps him from significance and purpose. Things always seem to go wrong for him.
However small his life seems, from a different perspective Billy’s song reaches far beyond the hills and hollers he calls home. Malachi is an angel sent to observe Billy. Though it is not his dream assignment, Malachi follows the man and begins to see the bigger picture of how each painful step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful symphony that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.