Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Jim Hamlett's Moe ~ Reviewed


Jim Hamlett

Perfect Paperback: 329 pages 

Publisher: Graceful Word

Language: English 

ISBN-10: 0982898509

Book Description:

Two are better than one...for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV

Fresh from seminary, Moses Mackenzie leaves his beloved Scotland and travels to the rural upstate of South Carolina. He searches not only for work that will give meaning to his life, but for an answer to the question that has plagued him since childhood: How does the mutation of a single gene square with being ...fearfully and wonderfully made... ?

In South Carolina, Moe meets Kirk Vaughn, pastor of the Blue Ridge Fellowship, a man desperate for a miracle. When Kirk realizes the last candidate for associate pastor is a man named Moses, he believes God may be sending a prophet with the miracle the whole church is expecting. Full of anticipation, Kirk arrives at the airport to pick up their guest, but instead of the prophet-like figure he expects, he finds a dwarf in kilt a miniature Moses-in-a-skirt.

Through circumstances that neither man envisions, Moe and Kirk are thrown into a working relationship that tests their understanding of themselves, of each other, and of what it means to be a true friend. Each man travels to the end of his own way before realizing the answer to his need lies on a path he least expects.

Moe is a story of friendship of how desperately we need at least one true friend to help us up when the inevitable trials of life put us down.


Moe is one of the more unique books I’ve read of late. Jim Hamlett has taken a modern day story about the struggles of ministry and finding God in the midst of people’s expectations and good intentions and added some surprising elements to create a charming and thought provoking tale. A young preacher from Scotland crosses “the pond” to candidate in America for an assistant pastor position. He lands to discover a polished pastor, a strong elder board and a very ill pastor’s wife. Told through revolving points of view the reader gets a glimpse into Moe’s thoughts, Pastor Kirk’s and a few other key players as the story unfolds. Ultimately this story is about the things of God, His paths, and His plans, even when they don’t make sense.

I tend to avoid self-published books. Why? I never know what I’m going to get. Is the novel going to be a rambling tribute to the author’s dream of tweed with leather patched elbows, or is the book going to be rough as a cob with points of view all over the map in a single paragraph? Will the story be trite or clichéd or will it be a well written story that just isn’t easily pigeonholed into a hot selling genre? When I agree to read a book, I take that commitment seriously so my reading time is spread pretty thin. Once I open a book I usually know within a page or two if I can review it with any amount of positivity. When I find a book I can fall into and get lost, sigh, it's such a pleasure.

That said. Moe falls into the category of a very unique storyline and one written by an author without a massive selling platform. But, Hamlett’s not fitting the mold doesn’t mean the book isn’t a good read. On the contrary, Hamlett has all the skills and abilities of a good writer and storyteller. The pacing is just right. His characters are well developed and rich and even though he has several characters he juggles I didn’t get lost in the sea of people. The writing is spare but sense triggering. And the story is compelling on several levels. Overall I’m impressed and glad Mr. Hamlett took the necessary steps to polish his manuscript because it’s well worth the time investment.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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