Awkward Grace by Jeff McCord

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In the small African nation of Burundi, a government incited massacre makes Mevin Ntwari a refugee. In the hills of East Tennessee, a reluctant sense of duty compels Ben Bellamy to lead his church’s outreach committee. And somewhere between these two events faith inspires an unlikely connection.

Not all of Mevin’s family escapes the horror of genocide, but along with his brother he finally makes his way to America. Waiting for him is Ben, a man whose natural goodness outshines the obstacles inherent in welcoming a stranger to Appalachia. Having only honest hearts in common, the men struggle to find their way together. But through a sort of awkward grace, the men uncover a friendship that “only poets and old cowboy movies” seem to understand. With Ben’s help, Mevin thrives in his new country. And when Ben becomes ill, Mevin becomes his salvation.

The story is representative of the thousands of Burundian and Rwandan refugees who escaped their countries’ genocides and with the help of ordinary people made new lives in America – even in Appalachia.

"...Because of its universal appeal and because there are life lessons to be learned in Awkward Grace, which is never, ever preachy in its tone, I recommend this book not only to other adults, but believe it would be suitable for teens as well. There is a positive, uplifting tone throughout the book that can't help but affect the reader for the better." -- L. L. Woodard for

"This is a book about love, but it is not a love story. This is a book about war and hate and genocide, but, as I told you, it is about love. It is a book about God, without being in any way sanctimonious or telling you what you ought to be doing or thinking. It is a beautiful book: its language is like poetry, its characters wonderful, strong and real, its descriptions vivid and graphic. With all that, it has humor that will sometimes have you laughing out loud, at others smiling a bittersweet smile--and yet, it is also an inspirational book that will bring tears to your eyes, no matter how tough you think yourself to be." ~ Dr. Bob Rich, writer, mudsmith, & psychologist

About Jeff McCord

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Published April 15, 2008 by Twilight Times Books. 216 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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