Book Review: Story will break your heart to help mend your spirit

February 2, 2014 

  • MIKE CHAMP

    by Timothy A. Suchla (Nampa); Tate Publishing ($9.99)

Publisher’s summary: “I was momentarily pulled into an empty room, where I stood very still behind the door thinking of my new friend’s past, pain and regrets, then allowed the prick in my heart to quietly drip onto the floor.”

What if you were facing the darkest hour of your life, and you were alone?

“I used to call her my angel, I thought God sent her to Earth especially for me.”

How would you cope if you lost the love of your life?

Two men’s lives intersect when each is in desperate need of a miracle, and each is unknowingly perfectly prepared to help the other. Some may interpret the circumstances that unfold as a coincidence but as the details become clearer, one may see things differently. Could it be a divine plan?

Mike is a retired baseball pitcher, beloved by a city but carrying agonizing emotional baggage from a past misdeed. Tim enters Mike’s life in the midst of an unthinkable tragedy in his own life, a scenario that sorely tests his will to exist.

The tale of Mike Champ incorporates genuine laughter and heartbreaking sorrow to deliver an authentic portrayal of life’s ups and downs. It is a purposeful tribute to God and reminder of how he can love us no matter how bad things get.

My take: Suchla does a subtle and marvelous job of weaving his faith and personal story into the pages of “Mike Champ” without being preachy. It’s hard to read this story and not be touched by the characters and their struggles, regardless of whether the reader is religious or not. It’s a story that every human can relate to — choices in our past that have a resounding, negative impact on our future, and the journey we go through to make them right and to heal ourselves.

My rating: “Mike Champ” is a heartwarming, genuine tale and worth the time to enjoy.

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