Two Books Based on the Film Unconditional
11.09.12 | | Comments
Unconditional, a novel by Eva Marie Everson
Firebird, a children’s book by Brent McCorkle and Amy Parker
Along with the release of the movie with the same name, two books have been released, Unconditional, and a child’s book Firebird. Unconditional tells the story of a young woman who had the storybook life, happily married, living on a beautiful ranch, and a career she loved, writing and illustrating popular children’s books. That all came to a crashing halt one wet night, when her electrician husband responds to a service call in the poorer end of town, and is shot to death by an unknown assailant. The story picks up a year later, when Samantha’s life is still crashed around her, and she’s considering ending it all. Her trip takes her down to the same spot where her husband died and then life changes when a child is struck by a car in front of her, and she chooses to do what’s right. Through that choice, she ends up reconnecting with “Papa Joe,” a childhood friend, who is now working to change the lives of children in the projects. And as Papa Joe later tells her, “it’s not a dead end if it takes you somewhere you needed to go.”
It can’t be easy to write a book based on a movie that’s based on true events, because you have only the movie to draw from. Because of that, the setting of the book lacks the depth of description that would usually be a part of a novel, and the characters are revealed more quickly in dialog and reactions than in a slower story process that allows you to know them each on a deeper level. With those limitations, however, Unconditional tells a moving story of hope, and the novel conveys that story more than adequately. Firebird is the book that Samantha is finally able to finish when she realizes that God was there even when she didn’t see Him and its theme mirrors Samantha’s new understanding.
I’m usually a person who prefers a book to a movie, and I enjoyed Unconditional, the novel. Because it tells such an inspirational story of a man and his ministry, I would be inclined to make this a movie I’ll watch. Firebird is unquestionably a very attractive children’s book to accompany the set, with beautiful illustrations by former Disney artists.
(I received free copies of these books in exchange for my fair and honest review.)
Christian Fiction, Copyright September 2012, ISBN 978-1-4336-7946-9