Broadman & Holman
Find the Kindle version of Escape From Fred on Amazon.
The only thing Mark Cloud wants is to get away from his hometown of Fred, Texas, and the label of preacher’s kid that haunts him there. He doesn’t expect to get kicked out of college or to experience the crumbling of his family. As he is forced to face these experiences, he begins to doubt the faith his father preaches.
In Escape from Fred, Brad Whittington deals with some questions challenging Christianity that most Christian authors avoid because they are too tricky—questions that deal with the presence of evil in a world created by a good God. Not only does Whittington face them, but he answers them in such a way that the reader’s faith is strengthened and affirmed by the end of the book. Whittington is also a master at mixing humor with pain. His descriptions of college life and the many antics of Mark and his friends are hilarious.
Escape from Fred captures readers from the very beginning with its plot. It gives a very honest, sometimes painful, look at living through suffering. Because of Whittington’s vivid writing, the reader experiences the doubts, longings, and terrible desperation of Mark. Because the book is so honest, it does mention drugs, alcohol, and descriptions of lust. However, these are necessary to paint the realistic portrait of Mark’s life, not an altogether beautiful thing.
To Mark, his hometown represents a god who is unjust and unfair. Fred, Texas epitomizes pain and discomfort, and a place where Mark has to face who he really is, with all his dirt, selfishness, and fear. He leaves to escape from all those things. However, even as he flees, Mark realizes that it is only back in Fred that he will be able to find the peace he is looking for.
I strongly recommend Escape from Fred. I was encouraged by Whittington’s honesty in dealing with the more difficult questions facing Christianity. The book offers a very real look into the struggles young adults are facing every day – the painful doubts, the longings, and the hardships of developing a personal identity. In taking the reader “down into the dirt” of everyday life, this novel lifts the heart with encouragement in knowing that other people face the same issues and questions. – Jenni K. Ritschard, Christian Book Previews.com
New from 2004 Christy Award-winning author Brad Whittington.
Mark Cloud escapes Fred, Texas, to relish the anonymity of college in the final book of this widely adored fiction series about a restless preacher's kid in the 1970s. But the proverbial time of his life skips a beat when a series of catastrophes leads him back home and then on a soul-searching road trip through America's heartland where his deepest questions have surprising answers.