Monday, January 11, 2010

Chris Coppernoll's Screen Play ~ Reviewed

By Chris Coppernoll
Published by David C. Cook
304 Pages

Back Cover:

After struggling for years to make it as an actress, Harper finally gets her big break—but will she have to sacrifice the love of her life to take it?

At thirty, Harper fears her chances for a thriving acting career and finding true love are both fading fast. When she's handed an unexpected role on Broadway—understudy to New York’s biggest diva––everything changes. She longs for love in the City, but when it doesn't happen, she reluctantly signs up to an online matchmaking site. Frustration mounts when the only men Harper is interested in are on the West coast, thousands of miles away. Harper feels like an actress who doesn’t act, and a woman in love with someone she's never met, but God's about to change all that.


I Loved, Loved, Loved this book! Chris Coppernoll has captured the magic of what happens in the world of theater, from idea to rehearsals and finally to the excitement and joy of a play ready for opening night on Broadway! He captures the electrifying wonder and family atmosphere of life in the theater. Readers will experience the theater world through Harper's eyes, on and off stage and everything an internet dating site where her friend has found love; Harper thinks you should meet people the old fashioned way, face-to-face. I'm so thankful I received a review copy of this book.

I felt a connection to the main character, Harper Gray, a thirty year old girl who’s been unemployed, alone, unloved, isolated and wondering where life is headed. Harper meets Bella and life as she’s known it starts to change. On her way to the airport, Harper discovers a note Bella tucked into her paperback book that says, “I believe in you. God has a purpose and plan for your life.—Bella”

Did He really? It was easy to believe in God when Bella was near, but Harper was headed to New York for a role on Broadway! She’s left to walk this unfamiliar journey with God alone! Or so she thinks.

“What do you hope?”

Harper answers, “I don’t know, I hope for love and dream of everything working out in my life. Sometimes I feel like I’m lost and I want someone to find me…but more than anything, I want to see God working in my life..”

“Do you think God can provide these things for you?”

“Yes,” Harper replies, “but it’s hard to wait.”

Harper struggles with her new faith in an atmosphere that is so social in nature and in a place she’s never walked with God before. She says this about herself, “I was sure I was getting a reputation as the oddball cast member who prays.” I loved Chris’s humor woven in-between the drama.

As I read Screen Play, I was reminded of the years I had worked in amateur and professional theater. I, too, was a new believer walking out my faith in the middle of this new world called theater. Chris Coppernoll has captured enchantment and wonder of the theater atmosphere and experience, showing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, all the hard work and drama that often happens when putting on a highly anticipated major Broadway show.

Screen Play will pull at your heart strings and make you shake your head as you marvel at how this gifted male author could pen the heart and soul of Harper Gray, a female character, so well! I found myself so absorbed into this story; I was up until the wee hours reading about this believable and compelling world Chris created!
There’s something spectacular about live theater. The author says this in his book …”theater life is surreal because everyone believes in magic. Even adults, who know we’re just pretending, believe that somewhere, somehow, the story must be true.”

After reading Screen Play, you’ll feel this story must be real! Thanks to David C. Cook publishers for my review copy. Thanks to Chris Coppernoll for your honest and heartfelt portrayal of a young woman and her search for God and all that is true...all packaged within a theatrical environment! I know you’ll enjoy these characters as much as I did. This book is a keeper!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
ACFW Book Club Coordinator

Bonus Review:

I have been meaning to read a book by Chris for more than a year. I just never have a craving for contemporary fiction. Whenever I have free time I am always reaching for the historicals. After reading "Screen Play" by Chris, I am sorry that I waited so long before introducing myself to his storytelling voice. The entire time I was looking forward to what was coming next. Already, partially read I would recommend it. After finishing it, I highly recommend it.

There is not just one story in there but several. The character voice of female Harper Gray is incredibly well developed by Chris. There were many little things that showed her personality and I am very impressed from a male point of view how well she came together on the page.

While enjoying the story I was expecting it to wrap up right after the New York play, but it continued and it was as enjoyable as reading a sequel of character's lives that you are not quite ready to let go of as a reader. After a short trip to London with my SisterB where we saw a play a day, except one day two I recall our performance of "The Woman in White" that was saw. This show sticks out in my mind specifically because the staring roll was played by the understudy. I remember being curious about what goes on in the mind of someone that plays the roll of an understudy and thanks to the first half of this fabulous treasure of a novel now I have a better plausible picture.

However, just this fact was not the only part of the story that I could relate to. I met my Enginerd online. Long story short, neither was looking and it all happened upon a fluke some would say, or rather God's design that we did not expect. Know how wonderful it was and at the same time how people are still uncertain if that is an okay way to meet people I could completely relate to the characters as they impatiently waited for the next email, IM or text message.

This was a story that was enjoyable to read and the characters were truly brought of the page to me. I can imagine them as palpable persons and that is to me an extremely valuable talent in an author. Once again, I repeat, I am sorry that I have not delved into the imagination on the page from Chris before, but I am so glad that I have found his writing now. I cannot wait for more.

Thank you Chris for this story and you're going up on my Author's I Like wall, you have definitely earned your spot.

Reviewed by: Margaret Chind

Bonus Review:

Chris Coppernoll has reached authorial maturity with his third novel, Screen Play. It's an inspirational tale with rich descriptions, memorable characters, and a thoroughly satisfying ending that reminds us that God delights in giving His children the desires of their hearts. Novel Journey and I give Screen Play a high recommendation.

Ane Mulligan, editor

Novel Journey

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