More books that are not Catch-22

Karla Faye Tucker Set Free, by Linda Strom, is not the type of book I would usually pick up. It’s actually not even available to purchase – copies are just distributed freely, and I received one from a student of mine, who received it from her church.

It is the story of a woman, Karla Faye Tucker, who was on death and spiritually set free by her deep and enduring faith in Jesus Christ, even when faced with her own execution. The author had a personal friendship with Tucker over the course of many years, as she visited her regularly as part of a prison ministry team.

Tucker was sentenced to death in 1984 for the brutal murders of two people. The book doesn’t delve too deeply into the murders, except to say that Tucker was high on drugs at the time and that it involved a pickaxe. It’s possible that the author assumed that many readers would already know the details of the murder, but I had not. Of course, I looked it up later to find out more.

I’m sure the author didn’t want to include many details, as that was not the focus of this book. However, she did give some background information on Tucker’s life, and the upbringing Tucker had, which led her down a path of depravity from a very young age.

After the murder and trial she was put on death row. During her time there she accepted the Lord as her savior and that was transforming for her. The rest of the book focused on her deep love of the Lord, her joyous spirit and her helpful and caring attitude toward her fellow inmates. She called death row “life row” and fully accepted the consequences of her actions.

The book was written with a sympathetic attitude toward Tucker and focused on how far she had come after receiving Jesus as her savior. The book’s intent was to show how there is hope in Jesus. Many people were affected by her faith – her fellow inmates; prison ministry volunteers, one of whom she married; the warden and other prison officials; and even some family members of the couple she killed. Although she was never able to successfully appeal her sentence or commute the sentence from death to life imprisonment, she maintained her strong and unwavering faith in Jesus and witnessed to others.

Although it was difficult to read about someone whose life went in such a tragic direction so young, it was interesting to see how much good she did in the short time she had as an incarcerated, yet spiritually free woman.

Keep Reading – I’ve just finished Steve Jobs’ biography, and can’t wait to post about that next Friday!

3 thoughts on “More books that are not Catch-22

  1. Well, I just finished Catch-22. I really enjoyed the book. It was funny that after all these years, I realized that the setting was WW II and not Viet Nam which was what I thought it was. I guess living through Viet Nam and the timing of the book, I simply thought that was the time frame. The movie received alot of press too, but since I heard that someone was cut in half by an airplant blade I didn’t put that on the top of my viewing list. But back to the book…
    The aspects of war are the center of the theme of the book. All aspets were covered by Yossarian’s character…his dedication throughout the book until his final exasperation at the situations he encountered were what I would think most soldiers go through. You can see the Black Market deals as part of war, ruined lives of people living in the region, death of soldiers and civilians, religious beliefs denied and holding fast, and his view of officers in the service. Not much is told of his background or his family which was interesting, but really wasn’t part of the story. There is hope at the end of the novel leaving the reader optomistic that Yossarian finds his new life. The emotions found throughout the book are skillfully tooled. Love and death are both written about throughout the book and how similar in sentiments they were to the characters. I guess since the book came out during the Viet Nam War it was destined to be part of the culture during that period. The political climate at the time was very ready to have this book become a cultural part of the times. I think that’s part of why I didn’t want to read the book at that time, besides the fact I thought it was about Viet Nam (!). One of the ushers in our wedding was in the marines and was killed during that war as well as other friends of ours. So it was hard enough during that period without reading more about war. I would recommend this book to others. It is a social comment on war, but with great sarcasm and a good read.

  2. Well, wow Ms.Linda, great review! I really enjoyed the book as well. Now we’ll have to watch the movie and just cover our eyes during the airplane blade scene!

  3. A here! – First I hate Dell this laptop has a mind of its own. Grrrr! Next, Heather I don’t know how I missed this but I just read this post. Wow, what a moving story. I know someone who did some pro bono work with a death row case and it was the same story. A young person who made a horrible decision. I mean a HORRIBLE decision! I would like to think that the ending was happy and in heaven. Ready for the next list book???? Russian war prisioner. Yikes.. sounds heavy… again.


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