Last October, after the soybeans had peaked at four feet, the corn spiraled to almost double that, and the wisteria had shed its purple, a breeze picked up, pushed out the summer heat, and woke Maggie. She rolled over, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Let’s go swimming.” We held hands down to the river where Maggie took a swan dive into the South Carolina moonlight.
And so the story begins for Dylan and Maggie Styles, a young couple in love, who wait expectantly for the birth of their first son. But events take a tragic turn in the delivery room, and their child is delivered stillborn. When Maggie hemorrhages and slips into a coma, Dylan too slips into what can only be described as a walking coma, holding vigil at Maggie’s bedside. Usually tough and self-reliant, an outdoorsman and a farmer, Dylan finds that everything he has known and relied upon, even his deepest sense of who he is as a person, is suddenly thrown into doubt. In a desolate place, naked and alone, he asks “Why live?” and hopes someone is listening who has the answer. Through friends and grace-filled moments of insight, the defenses around Dylan slowly break away, but it will take a second tragedy—and an anxious period of wrestling with God—to truly awaken him from his stupor and open him up to a new life.