Monday, November 9, 2009

Hero's Tribute by Graham Garrison

Is the Measure of a Man Found in His Actions, Deeds or in Who He Really Is?

What is a hero? Is it defined by your actions at one particular point in time or is it defined by who you are? First time novelist Graham Garrison explores the idea of what defines a hero and when a person crosses a nebulous line to become a bona-fide legend in his debut novel Hero’s Tribute.

The small town of Talking Creek, Georgia, has a hero—Michael Gavin. As a teenager, Michael made a name for himself as Quarterback of the local High School football team, the Eagles. As a young man, he earned a regional following when he played for the University of Georgia. Post -college, Captain Michael Gavin earned the Medal of Honor for distinguished service in Iraq further cementing his position at Talking Creek’s resident hero.

So when he was diagnosed with cancer, the town immediately rallied behind the Gavin’s. On his deathbed, Michael makes a radical decision and asks a complete stranger, local sports reporter Wes Watkins to deliver his eulogy. With absolutely no idea why the famed Michael Gavin would ask a complete stranger to delve into the intimate details of his life, Wes digs into this project as he would any other story. Who knows, perhaps it would generate some decent bylines and get picked up by the AP. In fact, this could be his ticket out of the small town life.

But what Wes discovers catches him totally off guard. His typical reporting tactics aren’t going to
work in this situation and as he uncovers some secrets in Michael’s past, Wes begins to see him
as he really was rather than the larger-than-life legend the town has created. The closer he gets
to the truth, however, the town begins to close ranks. Struggling to find the words to accurately
and completely describe Michael, Wes must examine his own life and decide what will define
him. Finding the whole truth could cost Wes everything. Who was this man that Talking Creek

Graham Garrison is a writer and editor who lives in suburban Atlanta. He has covered high school and college football games as a newspaper reporter, completed an internship with the U.S. Army at its National Training Center in the Mojave Desert and tested WaveRunners and Runabouts as the managing editor of a national boating magazine. He’s written about battlefields for America’s Civil War, interviewed medical innovators for Georgia Physician and even penned an editorial for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When he’s not writing, he’s chasing his two-year old son Nicholas and their Beagle, Baxter around the backyard with his wife, Katie. Visit his website at

I really enjoyed this book.  It seems like most of the Christian fiction authors these days are female; so I always enjoy the fresh perspective of a male author.  Graham Garrison did a tremendous job with this book.  You get a glimpse into each character's mind and learn about the things that make them who they are.  Though Michael dies at the very beginning of the book, you learn more and more about him as Wes does his research; and, right alongside Wes, you learn things about people (and about yourself) that will give you a fresh perspective on life and how you live it. 

I would definitely recommend this book.  Nobody is perfect, but it is possible to overcome the odds and become a person that people are proud to look up to - maybe even a hero.

NOTE: This book was provided to me for free (from Douglas Public Relations) in exchange for my honest review. The thoughts expressed herein are my own.

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