3 out of 4 stars
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John Thaddeus has experienced many challenges up to this point in life: losing the ability to play football, the passing of his parents, getting wounded in combat, and returning to life in the States again. Now he wants to play football professionally as a kicker, to add to the list. However, he does not have any college experience like the rest of the players trying out. This prevents him from having much of a chance until the team’s kicker gets injured, and they are desperate for a replacement.
John is able to overcome so much with the help of Sister Francis. She met John years ago and became as a mother to him. She was also his principal during high school, as well as a nun. Sister had faced many challenges including being diagnosed with leukemia. Because God healed her, she lives her life to help as many people as possible. John is always sharing his life with Sister because she has experienced many similar challenges. She gave him a rosary that he took with him in the Marines. It became very dear to him and strengthened his faith in God. As the author describes John, “He was a Marine who had faith, and that would be an unbeatable combination.” Sister helps guide John as he aspires to be an NFL kicker.
Through Sister’s influence and guidance, John is able to help others on the team and in the community. While he is doing many positive things, there is still opposition because of his faith. John finds a way to keep serving others even when they are opposed to his way of life. He later runs into an old friend from high school, Susan. They fall in love, but he is afraid of sharing certain details of his life with her. Through all the relationships and challenges faced, John finds that kicking is only a small fragment of his life’s purpose.
There are several things I liked about The Arrow That Flies by Day by John Servant. For one, it was edited fairly well. I can count on one hand the times I had to stop to make note of an error. This was a breath of fresh air. It was also short but contained an important life message within its pages. I enjoyed the book as well because it caused me to learn more about the Catholic faith. It involved real-life challenges and didn’t give the reader a typical happy ending, which was nice to see. Lastly, I enjoyed the character of Sister Francis. She was paramount to the entire plot and made such an enormous impact in her service to others.
While there are many things to like about the book, I have one minor critique to add. John only has experience kicking briefly in high school, but he is somehow able to make kicks from 70 yards without a problem. Throughout the history of the NFL, the longest kick ever is 64 yards. I felt this was stretching reality a bit. However, it may just bother me, being the sports fan that I am.
I give this work by Servant 3 out of 4 stars. It was a short read, but I felt like I got a lot out of it. It contains a meaningful message of putting faith in God and living out a true purpose in serving others. I appreciated the editing too, as I mentioned earlier. I only detract a star because of my knowledge of football, and the improbability of some of the kicks John successfully makes in the story.
I recommend this book to most readers. It might be of more interest to those with a Christian/Catholic faith. It falls under the Christian fiction genre but can have numerous real-life applications. Anyone that has faced challenges in life might find this book encouraging. Unless you are completely turned off by religion or elements of faith, I think you should give this book a chance.
The Arrow That Flies By Day
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