The Prodigal
by Janice Parker

"I don’t know if I have a home to go back to. I doubt my father would ever want to see me again. I know my brother doesn’t."

In this intriguing adaptation of the biblical story about the prodigal son, Clint is the son of a wealthy Texas rancher. After serving in World War II, Clint returns home disillusioned and aimless despite his father’s pleas to grow up and contribute to the family business. Clint is restless and hot-tempered, picking fights at bars, driving drunk, and landing in jail. Tired of his father’s lectures and aching for adventure, Clint demands his inheritance so he can travel to Europe and live a life of leisure and freedom. On the French Riviera, Clint’s playboy lifestyle allows him to forget his despair. His postwar response to what he has seen and experienced is excess: gambling, drinking, women, and an extravagant villa. Meanwhile, at home, his brother chooses differently. Instead of excess, he chooses the stability of home and family and eventually marries a Japanese-American woman whose family has relocated to Texas after leaving an internment camp after the war.

After a close call with drug dealers and the loss of his friend to suicide, Clint flees France and heads to Wales to meet a fellow soldier that he befriended during the war. While visiting the loving family of Frazier, Clint has a chance to redeem his life and find a purpose beyond the pursuit of pleasure. He accompanies the family on a mission trip to Africa and begins to experience compassion, selflessness, and true love for the first time. Thus, begins his transformation and eventual return home.

Aptly titled, Parker has written a moving story of redemption inspired by biblical teachings of grace and unconditional love. Through each setting rendered with authenticity, Parker sets Clint on a journey to find the true meaning of life. This inspiring story of transformation combines history, religion, and multiculturalism as it unfolds into a tale of self-discovery.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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