ABOUT THE BOOK (304 pages):
Jeth Cavanaugh is searching for a new life along one of Pennsylvania's mountain ridges when he stumbles upon a stable of show jumpers owned by Rob and Katie Chilton. Throw in a volatile gaited stallion named Dynamo, and Jeth will do anything to work there. He earns his living by training and showing Rob's jumpers, but Dynamo is his primary passion.
Everything changes when God enters his life—in the unconventional form of a hard slap by an old girlfriend—and ignites a new, greater passion within him. But along with fervor comes fear at the undeniable evidence of God's hand on his life. Inexplicable events, both good and bad, make him moan plaintively, "Why does God do this to me? I get the feeling I'm being set up for something."
He is, indeed. Jeth's life is anything but predictable, much like the God he serves. The real Dynamo and his ultimate trainer emerge out of an excruciating mix of disaster and brokenness, which are never beyond the reach of redemption.
Eleanor K. Gustafson has been publishing both fiction and nonfiction since 1978. Her short stories and articles have appeared in a number of national and local magazines. The Stones, published by Whitaker House in 2009, was her fourth novel.
In many of her stories, Eleanor explores the cosmic struggle between good and evil in light of God's overarching work of redemption. A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, she has been actively involved in church life as a minister's wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. She has enjoyed a variety of experiences, from horses to house building, all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction.
She and her husband live in Massachusetts, where he teaches philosophy. They travel extensively, spend time with their three children and eight grandchildren, and enjoy camping at the family forest in Chester, Vermont.
|Deana Dick||Vickie Jameson|
|Becky Lewis||Barbara Gill|
|Sonnetta Jones||Gee Dixon|
|Kimberly Napier||Penny Marks|
|Virginia Winfield||Amy Smelser|
|Becky C||Charity L|
|Robbi Bourne||Jacqueline Robertson|
|Joan Arning||Nyla Kay Wilkerson|
|Donna McGinnis||Lisa Johnson|
|Paula Young||Melissa Lemaire|
Hi Readers! Ellie here. I'm looking at the list of names, wishing I could sit down with each of you to chat about Dynamo. Short of that, though, we'll interact in this little box and think big--about horses, flawed characters, and a sovereign God who loves and redeems. Tell me your thoughts on the novel, and we'll talk.
Hey, Deana--Good review! I love hearing of readers who gain both an appreciation for horses and for the way God works with the people who ride them. Thank you so much for taking the time to read AND post reviews. You make my heart warm! : )
Yeah, there's certainly a lot to talk about in the book! The only other book still in print is The Stones,
a novel on the life of King David. That, too, has gotten good reviews and an endorsement from Eugene Peterson. My other books, Appalachian Spring and Wild Harvest are out of print, but I think used copies are still available on Amazon. Let me know if you want to know more about any of them Thank you so much for your enthusiasm! : )
Yes, both are still available. AS was probably my best-selling book, though that was my "learn how to write" book. Wild Harvest is a good book, but I hadn't yet learned that endings shouldn't be "confusing," as one reviewer put it. If you need help with the ending, I can do a lot of explaining. : ) Can't beat the price on either of them--from 1 cent on. I have another, self-published novel, Middle Night, which has a couple of smashing reviews, but almost nobody liked it. I did get the ending right, but it's a bit on the raw side. It's actually a dramatization of Christian concepts without any religious language or reference to any known religions. When you're really desperate for something to read.... : ) I like it--the characters, the quest, the theological thread tying it all together. Anon. : ) And I would be happy to send you a copy--FREE. : )
This is a great book for horse lovers and anyone else who loves a story of redemption. Many books have one tension in the story line. Then near the end, the author either ties it up in a neat bow in a page or two (which I don't find pleasing), or they take their time in drawing the story to its conclusion. However, this book has a series of events that cause tension, but then that tension is resolved. At the end of the book, you realize how each event played a part in the final ending. One thing that this book brings to light is that when God calls you to do something, He's not kidding around. You'd better do it or life will not be pretty. I loved the main character, Jeth. He was flawed but obedient to God and had wisdom beyond his years. After reading this book, I felt like I was leaving some good friends behind. It is a very well written book.
I received a free copy from bookfun.org for an honest review.
I posted this review on Amazon and Goodreads. Thank you, Eleanor, for a great story.
THANK YOU, Barbara! Your words warmed my heart. You got what I was trying to convey--especially that God is not kidding around! I learned about fearing God while writing my Stones novel on the life of King David. I believe fear goes beyond awe or reverence, as it is commonly defined today. David knew genuine fear, and so did Jeth. I am deeply thankful, though, for the grace of God that serves as his protective umbrella.
Dynamo is an excellent story of a man who desires to do God's will! Jeth Cavanaugh is a strong character who has just been released from prison and needs a job. Rob and Katie Chilton run their stable on Christian principles and anyone working for them has to follow some of these principles too. Jeth will agree to anything to work with the amazing stallion, Dynamo. The characters in this book face real life situations - some not so pretty! Eleanor Gustafson has written a fast paced novel with unexpected events. I recommend Dynamo even if you don't like horses! I was given the book by Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest review.
I posted reviews on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, B&N, CBD and Deeper shopping.
Joan, on a rainy morning when my spirits needed it, your review brought gladness to my heart. Through writing this novel, I gave pleasure to you, and in return, your response pleasured me--big time! Thank you so much! May our Lord shine brightness in your heart today.
Thanks so much, Kimberly, for your encouraging review of Dynamo. You were able to see and follow the spiritual thread of a God who sometimes works in unusual ways in a person's life. Thank you for recommending the book to other readers. Keep the story going! : )
Author: Eleanor Gustafson
My rating is 5 stars.
Jeth is a man searching and running at the same time. Jeth is a lover of horses, rides well and is knowledgeable, but don’t say a word about God to him. Until he turns on a road that he thought took him somewhere else and he ends up at a small ranch with two people who love the Lord. Rob and Katie take him on though they can only offer him a roof over his head. They lay down some guidelines that Jeth must adhere to.
Jeth is very transparent with the owners regarding his past and what he does and doesn’t believe. However, more than anything, Jeth wants to get back to riding horses and showing them at various events. One would think the story couldn’t be more than a nice tale that leads to redemption and reconciliation, but is it really?
I found the book very compelling to read and couldn’t help myself from turning pages long into the night! Jeth is a very interesting character whose spiritual experiences and questions are deep. He won’t take platitude answers either. Jeth finds an elderly woman in the area’s small congregation that understands him and mentors him some named Maybelle, or I should say she picks Jeth out.
The interactions between various characters kept me very interested because I wasn’t always able to see where the author was leading. What drew me most into the book were the spiritual themes running throughout the story. I am not sure exactly how to explain them, but yes there is faith, spiritual warfare and struggling with understanding suffering. However, Jeth has a spiritual encounter with God that changes him and challenges him in a way I don’t remember reading in a story.
A person doesn’t need to understand the nuances of the various types of horses or shows that occur to really enjoy the tale that will grab your heart and mind. I cannot wait to see what the author offers to audiences next, but until then don’t miss reading a very action-packed and highly engaging story!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Lisa, thanks SO much for your wonderful review! You get the story, but more importantly, you get what I'm trying to say throughout. God does work in deep and sometimes painful ways, but His ways always bring us to a better end than our own. Bless you for reading and posting the review! And Merry Christmas! : ) Ellie