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Lightning on a Quiet Night

By Donn Taylor


In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues deals with its first murder. Despite the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, Mississippi, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in it. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa's contentious courtship reveals the town's strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will those discoveries lead? To repentance or to denial and continuation in vanity?

Book Takeaway:

1. As Ezekiel wrote, past righteousness does not excuse present sin.
2. One can give so much attention to being virtuous that it can become an idol.


Year Title Description
2015 Lightning on a Quiet Night Selah Awards finalist

Why the author wrote this book:

For two reasons: I wanted to portray well-intentioned Christians struggling to live their faith in a fallen world. Second, I wanted to write about the everyday citizens of Mississippi--small-town bankers, storekeepers, and farmers--who rarely get a fair shake in fiction.


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