Truth Be ToldA novel that shines a light on small-town secrets
Echoes of Glory
By Robert Flynn
Fort Worth, Texas
215 pages, $19.95
Should people be told the truth when they're more comfortable with a
lie? Do the horrors of war ever go away? Is there any loyalty in the
political arena? These aren't easy questions that Robert Flynn
addresses in his eighth novel. But Flynn—who describes his work as "the
search for morals, ethics, religion, or at least a good story in Texas
and lesser-known parts of the world"—has never been one to back away
from tough issues.
Echoes of Glory centers around
a fictional Texas town in Mills County, one that Flynn '54, MA '57,
describes as "a facsimile of thousands of rural towns that had a sole
reason to exist—the courthouse."
Set during the Reagan era, the story is told from the viewpoint of
Timpson Smith, the town sheriff who is inches away from retiring. But
before he can vacate his post, he gets caught in the middle of a
firefight between the deputy sheriff and a mentally unstable Vietnam
For Smith, the shooting—and the controversy that arises in its
aftermath—revives his own painful memories as the sole survivor of the
Korean War's Second Platoon, which was made up primarily of men from
Mills County. In the years since the Korean War, the long-gone members
of the Second have been lionized as heroes, despite the truth of how
they really died. Now, Smith is faced with revealing that ugly secret,
along with the truth behind the latest town shooting and the deputy
sheriff's upcoming election for sheriff.
Flynn balances the interwoven plot lines and the various characters
with ease. As in his previous novels, Flynn gives descriptions of
small-town life that are right on target: "Vacant buildings that
tempted the idle young, near-empty stores that listed toward the road
to hell—All-Night Laundromat that attracted vagrants and nickel and
dime thieves." And his ecclectic characters are just as sharply drawn:
"He was tall and wiry like a Texas Ranger. He wore long sideburns to
make his face look thinner, more mature, more like Clint Eastwood, and
he did a good imitation of John Wayne."
Echoes of Glory is what one reviewer describes as "an excellent, interesting, and well-paced story on the search for ethics and right."
Songs From Jacob's Well
Mike Crawford and his Secret Siblings
Jacob's Well Records
Kansas City, Missouri
you're a little confused by the subtitle on this two-CD set, you're
pobably not alone. At first glance, the unwieldy phrase—"Subversive
Symphonies and Time-Tested Folk Remedies Sure to Aid in the Toppling of
Evil Empires"—and the whimsical illustrations on the CD packaging seem
incongruous with the band's worship music.
But to twist an old saying, you should never judge a CD by its cover.
The songs on the two CDs—one titled "Even the Darkness" and one titled
"Will Not be Dark to You"—tell the faith journey of a community of
believers at a church called Jacob's Well, located in Kansas City,
Mike Crawford is the worship arts pastor at Jacob's Well, and he can be
heard either singing or playing the guitar on every track in the
collection. A 1989 Baylor graduate, Crawford will be familiar to many
alumni from his days as a member of The Spin, a popular student band in
In fact, the music on Jacob's Well abounds with Crawford's offbeat
musical style. On one song, the sounds of a glockenspiel combine with
drums, violins, and a bass guitar. On "The Search Begins," members of
the church congregation can be heard talking and laughing before they
begin singing. "The Apostle's Cul-de-Sac" features spoken words,
barking, and crickets chirping.
But whatever the style, each song is infused with thoughtful lyrics, inspired arrangements, and a joyous message.
Scout, The Dog Who Saved "The Nutcracker"
By Marilyn Sebesta
Tadpole Press 4 Kids
Just in time for the Christmas season, Marilyn Sebesta has written a
charming children's book that revolves around a production of "The
Nutcracker" ballet. Susanna has been chosen to dance the role of Clara
in the famous ballet, and her chocolate Lab, Scout, is in the
production, too, despite her habit of hitting other dancers with her
tail when she spins. But when a family of mice threaten to derail the
production, only Scout can save the day.
This is the first book for Sebesta '71, who worked in education for
thirty-six years. In addition to colorful illustrations, the book
contains some of Sebesta's favorite holiday recipes. And she even
includes a doggie treat recipe that's a favorite of the real-life Scout.
Baptist Theology: A Four-Century Study
By James Leo Garrett
Mercer University Press
How does someone encompass the whole of Baptist history in just one
book? Well, for starters, the book needs to be more than seven hundred
pages long. And it needs to be written by an expert in the field.
James Leo Garrett Jr. is a 1945 Baylor graduate who has been a Baptist
theological educator for more than fifty years. An emeritus
distinguished professor of philosophy at Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary, he has also taught at Baylor and has pastored
numerous Baptist churches.
Baptist Theology is an
exhaustive study of the denomination, leading readers from the roots of
Baptist beliefs to the most current influential voices in the church.
The book is both a study and a celebration of the denomination, and it
is truly the crowning achievement in Garrett's long and storied career.
Also of Note
Baylor English professor Greg Garrett has written two books: a novel, Shame, released by David C. Cook Publishers (davidccook.com), and We Get to Carry Each Other: The Gospel According to U2, by Westminster John Knox Press (wjkbooks.com).
O. M. "Skip" Brack Jr. '60, MA '61, provided the introduction and annotation to The Life of Samuel Johnson, LLD, published by University of Georgia Press. [ugapress.org]
University Press of Kentucky has published Sister States, Enemy States, co-edited by W. Calvin Dickinson '60, MA '62. [kentuckypress.com]
Linda Cervenka Metcalf '73 has written her seventh book, The Art of Solution-Focused Therapy, published by Springer. [springer.com]
Connie Clutcher Weeks '73 and Debbie Reese Potts '74, MSEd '75, have authored and illustrated a children's book, Ocean Surprises, published by Seahorse Publishing. [oceansurprises.com]
Patti Qualls Lacy '77 has written her second novel, What the Bayou Saw, released by Kregel Publications. [kregel.com]
Rails Around Houston, by Douglas Weiskopf '77, was published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their "Images of Rail" series. [arcadiapublishing.com]
Sabahat Jahan, MA '03, and retired Baylor English professor J. R. LeMaster have co-written Walt Whitman and the Persian Poets, published by Ibex Publishers. [ibexpub.com]
If you've recently had a book
published, a CD released, or a video produced, send a copy for
consideration c/o "Under Review," Baylor Line, One Bear Place #97116,
Waco, TX 76798-7116.