A “Perfect” Book

I’m going to piggyback my post with Beth’s from yesterday. The ACFW awards gala was amazing. It was a special evening to recognize winners in published and  published fiction. The air felt weighty with anticipation: whose work will win the top awards?

This year one book in particular that won the Carol Award for women’s fiction, Dandelion Summer, by Lisa Wingate. What distinguished it this year is that it’s the first book that received a perfect score from all five judges. Perfection.

When they closed the book, I’m wondering what went through their minds. Were they tired, or exhilarated? Did they wipe the tears away? Did certain turns of phrase resonate in their minds, even when they laid the book aside and went about their business?

I had the opportunity to interview Lisa on my online radio show, The Flashlight Reader, on Tuesday evening. She was stunned, thrilled to win, but also equally pleased that her book touched readers.

When I asked her about how she developed the characters for the book, she told me that the elderly male character in the book was based on a very-real character who was involved in the Howard Hughes space program. He’d become a fan of Lisa’s books and one day, while she was away researching, he told her his own story. One of the things he told her was he’d never told his story because he didn’t think it mattered to anyone.

Of course it did. Of course ours do.

His story went on to become the genetics of Lisa’s character. To think if she’d never heard his story or took the time to listen.

We all have stories, maybe none of them perfect. But our own stories can resonate with someone.

What’s the best true–or fictional–story you’ve read lately? Anything “perfect?”


Lynette Sowell writes fiction for the inspirational market, from contemporary romance to mysteries. She’s always looking for the perfect recipe for a story–or a great dish–and is always up for a Texas road trip. You can listen in to the Flashlight Reader on Monday nights here.

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