Vernal Promises

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by Jack Harrell
Paperback / 224 pages / 1-56085-171-6 / $18.95

Vernal Promises

MARILYN M. BROWN AWARD FOR FICTION
ASSOCIATION OF MORMON LETTERS

Jacob Dennison believes that every good thing in life comes at a cost. His wife Pam’s miscarriage confirms that. Never mind that his boss at Food World has outrageous demands; that his father, a shady oil field equipment salesman, wants to make him a man in his own image. Never mind that his new friend Dwayne, a cunning drug dealer and occultist, wants nothing less than his discipleship. Jacob is willing to push beyond their expectations. His greatest struggle will prove to be his saving grace: he can follow only one voice—the one that speaks within him and drives him to the brink of ruin and ultimately a higher price than even he had imagined.

“This is a brilliant novel, written with language that crackles. The relationships are treated with force and poignancy. The power of the story is its authenticity and the character’s compelling conversion. He begins as a boy who refuses to accept responsibility, becomes the husband who longs for freedom, and at last the man who feels God’s grace in spite of himself and the self-destructive path that has beckoned to him with a siren’s allure. This brings a voice to Mormon literature that is clearly worth honoring.” —Marilyn Brown, author of The Wine Dark Sea of Grass

Jack HarrellFormerly at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois, Jack Harrell teaches English and creative writing at Brigham Young University-Idaho. His writing has been compared to the quirky, sometimes disturbing realism of Flannery O’Connor. He is the author of A Sense of Order and Other Short Stories and has published other short stories in Dialogue, Irreantum, Manna, and elsewhere and nonfiction in Popular Music and Society (“The Poetics of Destruction: Death Metal Rock”). For this, his first novel, he received an Association for Mormon Letters Best Manuscript Award. He lives in Rexburg, Idaho, with his wife and family.

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