Local Author’s Story of Redemption and Grace
North Texas nonfiction author Rev. Brooks Harrington has completed his latest book, this time a novel that draws on his experience as both an attorney and pastor of an inner-city church set in the author’s hometown of Fort Worth.
Paloma: Happy Are Those tells the story of two people from vastly different backgrounds and circumstances who struggle together to find God in a world of random injustice and human evil. It is, as Harrington describes it, “a book about poverty, the church, and the justice system in contemporary Fort Worth.”
The book will be premiered during National Literacy Month, with the official launch event slated for Sunday, September 18, 2022, at First United Methodist Church downtown (800 E. 5th Street), from 10:15am-12:15pm. Harrington will be onsite in the garden for autographs of Paloma, and the new book will be available for sale. As well, Harrington will be a presenting author at the Trinity River Book Festival, Saturday, September 17, 2022, 9am-4:00pm, at the Trinity River Pavilion 1 (2300 W. 7th Street). Rounding out the month, Harrington will appear at Leaves Book and Tea Shop (120 St. Louis Ave., #101) Monday, September 26, 2022, at 5:30pm for a reading and book signing.
All book proceeds benefit the Methodist Justice Ministry, a 501(c)3, pro bono legal ministry for indigent victims of child abuse and family violence.
Paloma, the titular character, is a woman who has suffered bitter poverty and neglect as a child and exploitation and addiction as a teen and an adult. Her life is altered with the entrance of John Levi, a lawyer from a privileged, sheltered home who answers the call of God to pastor an inner-city church. Together, Paloma and John Levi hunger and thirst for justice and mercy for the neighbors of the church and for Paloma and her daughter.
“Paloma is not unlike many women I met during my time as a Fort Worth inner-city church pastor, as a criminal prosecutor, and as a lawyer representing victims of family violence, exploitation, and abuse,” said Harrington. “What I learned more than anything during my time in the pulpit and the courtroom is that even in the depths of despair, there is always the presence and power of God. That reality angers Paloma in the novel, not unlike many who have faced trauma and believed their prayers were unheard and unanswered.”
Despite Paloma’s anger, the presence and power of God’s prayers drive John Levi to rescue Paloma from her plight. In the novel, Levi crosses a line in protecting her from evil men. Facing the consequences of his actions, John Levi struggles with the limitations imposed upon his hunger for justice by the Way of Jesus.
“The ultimate story is that both Paloma and John Levi transcend the crisis to find a new faith,” Harrington said. “How they reach that faith is the story I hope inspires those who read it.”
Already, the novel has picked up positive responses from those who understand the world of Paloma and Levi.
Randy Catterton, a senior district judge in the 231st District Court says Paloma is a powerfully written story of an attorney-turned-Methodist-minister. “As he attempts to save a young woman and her child from a life of poverty, addiction, sexual exploitation, and abuse, he struggles to follow his understanding of God’s work,” the judge said. “The novel is a true page-turner that you won’t want to put down!”
This is Harrington’s second book. His first book, No Mercy, No Justice – The Dominant Narrative of America versus The Counter-Narrative of Jesus’ Parables, was a nonfiction book.
“Not only did I want to tell a compelling story that is rooted in the reality I saw in the inner city, I wanted to continue to provide support for the Methodist Justice Ministry,” Harrington said. “Paloma is the kind of person the ministry is designed to help, and if her fictional plight can help ease the suffering of her real-life counterparts, then that is a worthy and just result.”
Paloma is available on Amazon and in brick-and-mortar bookstores. For more information on Rev. Harrington, visit https://www.revbrooksharrington.com/.