By Chris Fabry
Published by Tyndale
In Walmart parking lots all across America, RVs are often found at the start of the business day. At most locations, store policy allows limited free parking overnight. One morning, a little girl steps out of one of those RVs and walks to the store. Just inside her eyes are drawn to the missing children board, and she is shocked to recognize her own face. She had no idea she was lost, nor does she know who lost her. She’s never been called by the name on the poster. Her dad calls her June Bug.
This discovery begins a quest for the truth about her father, the mother he rarely speaks about, and ultimately herself. A modern interpretation of Les Miserables, the story follows a dilapidated RV rambling across-country with June Bug and her father, a man running from a haunted past. Forces beyond their control draw them back to Dogwood, West Virginia, down a winding path that will change their lives forever.
June Bug left the finger print of God’s love on my heart and in my mind. I haven’t read anything so riveting and unforgettable since Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
Chris Fabry has penned a remarkable love story; one that’s filled with sacrifice, hope and forgiveness! Chris takes his time in developing his rich, endearing, three-dimensional characters that seem to jump off the pages and into your heart!
You won’t be able to resist June Bug’s charm, honesty and wonder. You’ll be spell bound by her fun-loving, inquisitive nature. She’s a girl that tells it like she sees it. She’s giving, friendly, and fun listen to. She says, “They say there is a peace that passes all understanding, and that it’s available to anybody who wants it. I believe in Jesus and I know he lives in my heart, …Sometimes having Jesus in your heart makes you feel good all over, like you know there’s somebody who loves you no matter what.”
June Bug discovers the unimaginable in Wal-Mart one day, “When I went back out and looked again, there was no doubt in my mind. That was me up there behind the glass. And I couldn’t figure out a good way to ask Daddy why he had lied to me or why he called me June bug instead of Natalie Edward.”
Chris has an authenticity in his writing style that brings June Bug's childlike innocence to life. Her tale is so dynamic, yet simple it’s like you’re right there experiencing the love, joy, mystery and disappointments right along with her.
You’ll delight in what Chris has created with his vivid array of characters in this powerfully-moving journey of a little girl who discovers her haunting past. June Bug has learned to smell the flowers along this amazing journey with a father that has given up everything to show a great love to her in the middle of what could have been a horrific situation. Don’t rush through this story but savor every page. You’ll want to buy two copies of this book, one to put in your library and one to share with your friends, because you’ll definitely be telling everyone about this fascinating story you stayed up late reading .
Reviewed by: Nora St Laurent
As I write this review, tears wet my cheeks and my chest trembles from crying. Chris Fabry’s June Bug has touched me deeply, and I will do my best to tell you why.
First I will tell you that June Bug’s reality isn’t so fictional. I learned that last year when I watched six children under the age of eight provide the only comfort and security for one another they’d ever known in their short lives. When an eight-year-old boy is the only person in an eleven-month-old’s life that can bring comfort enough to fall asleep at night, you know beyond a doubt that evil exists in the world. You also realize that giving birth to a child doesn’t touch the heart of some people, and thus some children are born orphans.
June Bug’s life was headed down an evil path and headed toward certain death as certainly as John Johnson’s life hovered on the brink of that same evil abyss. Their lives became forever intertwined, and the seven years they spent together was the purest, sweetest picture of God’s mercy and grace you’ll ever read on paper. I wish all children were loved as deeply and as well as June Bug. The reader picks up June Bug’s story at a tumultuous point in her relationship with John, and the changes that begin to take place take the reader on a journey to the very definition of unconditional love.
On the flip side of John and June Bug’s precious and precarious relationship, there is May, Dana and Leason Edwards. Their story is also hauntingly familiar to me after two years of volunteer work in a residential rehab facility. Again, I shudder to admit that their story reads more as reality to me than fiction, and my heart aches for them. Mae’s tenacious yet fierce hold on God’s hand despite the cruelty of her only child…the unwavering, heart-crushing hope of seeing her only grandchild again…oh, how I longed to comfort her! Yet she was fiercely believing the promise of God’s word – to bring glory out of our sinful choices…to redeem our dark souls – that I eagerly cheered her stalwart faith. I’ve had to walk through some of those desert places in my own life, and so early in the story I grabbed hold of her hope and refused to let go!
I can’t wax eloquent on the story and it’s relationship to Les Miserables – and that embarrasses the English major in me just a little. However, I can tell you most certainly that June Bug will speak to your heart deeply. You will hug those you love a little tighter and thank God for loving you enough to get you through this often painful path of life and bring you to a place where you can trust Him enough to let go.
Still wiping tears…don’t miss this one! June Bug…Chris Fabry….amazing!
Reviewed by: Kim Ford