Powerful, Compelling, A Cutting-Edge Narrative on Where We are Today!
Ted Grayson has been a very successful reporter. His face has been splashed across TV, magazines, and online for over twenty years. He became known as the face of America in broadcasting, respected, adored, wealthy, and envied. He had it all, until that fateful day when anger took over, and Ted uttered words caught and transmitted by the various social media sites, that would change his world.
Ted’s life on a personal level was falling apart. His wife was leaving him, suing for divorce and his daughter, harbored such hatred for her father that it reeked out of her every pore. He was frustrated, frightened, and unsure where his life was going and then he had a moment of anger, as everything in his life bubbled to the surface. In that moment, Ted lost everything he thought that mattered to him.
Two words, just two words would create for Ted a living hell that would destroy twenty years of hard work, sacrifice, and force him to make choices where he held himself up to that mirror we all hate to gaze in.
Was Ted wrong in what he said? Of course he was, but when one only believes in technology and identity, Who needs God when you have Google? Who needs community when you have Facebook?”, you are guilty. The internet, its faceless wonders, are your judge, it is your jury, and the sentences it carries out is harsh, painful, and full of malice.
It is the internet that has the all mighty power to destroy people. It is the news media that can fake a story, twist a sentence, modify an image to make it become whatever they want it to be. It can twist, mold and turn itself into an avenue used to pump up people’s hate and once people are faceless behind computer screens they can and do say whatever they want not caring if there is one scintilla of truth in their rantings. Have a different opinion than the accepted one, be prepared to open yourself up to vileness, hate, and a denizen of loathing.
While Ted’s story is not us, most of us are not famous, are not recognizable, are out of the mainstream, yet can any of us really say that we have not been a target of hate and belittlement especially now in a super charged political environment. Sometimes even liking or not liking a book can invite criticism!
Someone quite famous once said, “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.” From what one sees today, it well can be imagined that everyone is without sin, without faults, without anger, without human qualities which are sometimes wrong but always present in us. Should one mistake make us a pariah? Should one mistake take away everything we thought we were?
Ted will learn to cope, he will learn what is truly important. He will move onto a level of self knowledge, and a respect for the mistakes he has made and the life he wants to move forward to.
This book was amazing. It made me think of the ways I sometimes responded and recognize that these days words not only hurt, but also can land one in an earthly version of hell.
In our own way, we are all Ted Grayson. We are all caught in the web, just like Ted of being crucified for a mistake. Ted does understand, he does know what he said was wrong, but the world today doesn’t seem to accept “I am sorry,” anymore, but continues to beat down a spirit that has fallen. It seems to make some feel better when we can belittle another and now, it is ever so easy to do. Look at your facebook feed, instagram, twitter, responses to news articles. You can see for yourself can’t you?
Thank you for John Kenny, Penguin USA, and Edelweiss for a copy of this ever so relevant book. Thanks as well to my friend, Jan. We read and loved this book as it addressed so much that is of concern to many today.
As I wrote this review, a twenty six year old former champion figure skater has committed suicide over allegations and young high school boys have been eviscerated in the news and on social media without both sides being heard and seen. Yes, it’s bad if these things are true, but shouldn’t everyone wait and see if they are indeed guilty and then let the powers that be handle it?
and here’s the author:
John Kenny has been has been a professional firefighter since 1989. “The Spark” is his debut novel. It’s the first book of a planned trilogy, though each will be a complete stand alone novel. John grew up in Toronto, and graduated from the University of Toronto with a double major in Biochemistry and Astronomy. Before becoming a firefighter, he worked at the McLaughlin Planetarium, writing and producing astronomy programs . He also wrote a star gazing column and several astronomy and popular science articles.
John lives near Ottawa, Canada with his wife Liz, Charlie, the border collie/lab cross and the feline duo of Pawvel and Kasey. When not running into burning buildings he’s an avid sailor, a competitive sprint canoe paddler, an enthusiastic traveler and a mediocre hockey player.