The Last Day

By James Landis
(Steerforth Press, Paperback, 9781586421656, 287pp.)

Publication Date: September 1, 2009

List Price: $14.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the September 2009 Indie Notables
“The Last Day tells the story of Warren Harlan Pease, a young U.S. Army sniper freshly returned from Iraq. After meeting 'Jesus,' he travels the New Hampshire seacoast, revisiting people and scenes from his life before his service. Landis slays our inner skeptic and gently moves us to a deeply felt empathy for all who cross our paths in daily life, even those we would classify as our 'enemy.' This is one of the most affecting novels we have read in many years.”
-- Elizabethe Plante & Dan Chartrand, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH


Description

I meet Jesus on the day I get home from the war. I’m on the beach, but I don’t know how I got here. My mind is as dark as the night. . . . I spend the whole night on the beach. But when the sun’s faint light begins to bend around the Earth, I see him. . . . There, coming toward me, out of the light, is a man. . . . Behind the man a faint curtain of light rises to the sky out of the ocean. He wears the light like a robe, though I see he’s dressed like me. Jeans and a T-shirt, no shoes. And that he’s older than I am, a lot older, maybe mid-thirties. He walks right toward me. He walks right into my eyes.

So begins the spellbinding story of Warren Harlan Pease, a young U.S. Army sniper freshly returned from the Iraq War to his native New Hampshire. What follows is a page-turning adventure that is also a powerful meditation on religion and war, love and loss.

The Last Day answers questions and asks many more. Armed with a sniper’s rifle and his deeply held faith, Specialist Pease travels across ideological borders and earns an appreciation for his enemy’s culture and for what connects us all as human beings. “War doesn’t test your faith in Jesus,” Warren comes to realize. “It tests your faith in yourself.” Upon returning home, he spends an entire day with Jesus visiting and contemplating his own life with fresh eyes, and a willing heart. He examines his relationship to those he loves, and grapples with the pain he has been carrying inside since the death of his mother when he was just a boy.

This extraordinary work of compassion and healing grace combines the themes of religion, war and poetry in a way that is wholly original, and unforgettable. It will resonate with skeptics and believers, be shared and discussed between friends and among families.

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