A review I wrote last year for the Woman Alive book club. An unlikely book that grabbed my attention…
As a book reviewer, I receive loads of books to consider. Some books catch my eye – title, subject or author – and I request them from the publisher. Some are sent to me, unbidden; those self-published, I have to admit, I can usually spot in the first couple of seconds. And yes, I tend to be biased against self-published books, for they usually lack that added extra that a publisher gives in terms of editing, design, publication quality and so on.
Luke Wordley is reversing the image of self-published books. When some time ago he sent me a copy of The Fight, I glanced at it, liking the arresting cover and the quality feel of the book. But I wasn’t grabbed by the subject – it’s about boxing, after all – so I left it to languish in my stacks of review books. In the months that followed, I heard some buzz about it through publishing contacts, and was happy to publish Catherine Campbell’s review that she posted in our Facebook group.
Then I heard that Tyndale, one of the big US Christian publishers, had taken it on. More requests came for me to review the book, and I nearly didn’t, but on a whim I started to read. And captured I was; this book certainly carves out a new model for self-published books to aspire to.
So yes, it’s about boxing, and yes, you might think only men would be interested. But give it a try if you want some stretching British fiction. A disaffected young man – mourning the loss of his father and witnessing his mother’s descent into alcoholism – increasingly gets himself into trouble with fighting anyone he comes across. But a Christian social worker doesn’t give up on him, persuading a Christian boxing coach to manage him. The story follows Sam, the young lad, and Jerry, the manager, through their ups and downs and journeys of faith. One to read.
The Fight, Luke Wordley (Tyndale, ISBN 978-1414389493)