1958. Eisenhower is in the White House, Elvis is in the army, and eight-year-old Wade Parker is thrilled that Duke Snider and the Dodgers have moved west from Brooklyn. Yet all is not well in the Parker household. On the darkest day of his young life, Wade plunges into the midst of an unimaginable crisis. Worse yet, his younger brother witnessed what happened, and he can’t keep a secret for a truckload of Abba-Zabbas. With an abundance of brotherly love and the unseen grace of God, the brothers venture alone on dangerous exploits around northeast Los Angeles. A powerfully imaginative coming-of-age story seasoned with hooligan humor, Billy Goat Hill is an inspiring account of a young man’s quest for God. Culminating with a startling climax, the reader is embraced by the central theme of forgiveness and salvation that can only come from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Dorothy’s cyclone had nothin’ on Scar.
Los Angeles , 1958. Elvis is in the army. Eisenhower’s in the White House. And eight-year-old Wade Parker heads out for Billy Goat Hill to run the Crippler in the dark—just like Gooey dared him to. But Wade and his kid brother, Luke, run into Scar, the most fearsome character they’ve ever had the misfortune to meet at four in the morning. They won’t realize it for years to come, but knowing him will change their lives forever.
Wade’s family is already disintegrating over the loss of a child. If there’s no place like home, what happens when home is falling apart? Wade begins a decades-long journey, searching for answers. But when your life has been shaped by loss, murder, alcoholism, and betrayal, how do you find forgiveness?
Story Behind the Book
“I wrote this novel to fulfill God’s plan for my gift...to glorify Him and evangelize the lost. Originally written before I gave my life to the Lord, I now realize how much God, through the writing, was working in my life. There is much of my own life story, some actual events, and a lot of metaphorical reflection, embodied in the fictional character of Wade Parker. The writing was deeply cathartic, and not long after completing the original version of this novel, I surrendered my heart to Jesus. By God’s grace I am now directed to write in His service.”
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Religion eBook: Billy Goat Hill|
|Release Date: 05-20-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Billy Goat Hill|
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Billy Goat Hill
Chapter OneNortheast Los Angeles
He's not breathing! Mom! Dad! Help! Matthew's not breathing! I scoop my baby brother up from his crib, his cold cheek pressing against my neck, and I run, and I run, and I run ... tumbling headfirst into the treacherous deep of the Crippler.
Whee-e-e-e-chug-chug ... Varoom!
I awake in a startle as the distinct ignition signature of Carl's 1955 Chevy Bel Air pummels the night calm. I gasp for air, my heart pounding, as the cracked windowpane next to my bed rattles like a snare drum from the percussion of badly corroded mufflers. I wipe away tears and whisper in the darkness, "I'm sorry, Matthew. Please forgive me."
Trembling, I sit up in bed and peer out the window as Carl puts the poor Chevy in gear. The transmission clanks and the car lumbers away from the curb. A trail of smoke lags behind the sickly sloth. The window by my bed hums louder, then gradually falls silent as I track the red glow of one working taillight until it fades into the night. This is the way it is, Carl rescuing me nearly every night.
The firing up of the Chevy means it is midnight, plus or minus one minute. Our next door neighbor, Carl, is a baker married to the night shift and the most punctual alcoholic I'll ever know. He isn't very keen on the virtues of preventive maintenance. His Chevy is not yet three years off the assembly line, and it already looks and sounds as decrepit as Betsy, our embarrassing-to-be-seen-in '40 Ford.
In the bed next to mine, my brother Luke sleeps on, snoring softly under his blanket. He is oblivious to the commotion of Carl's routine departur...