A Favor Returned
Jennifer Proctor, a wispy yet hauntingly beautiful young girl of ten, already qualified as one of those rare saints on earth. She had a sense of compassion far beyond her years, and unlike most children her age, is completely unselfish. When she innocently applies a gift that she neither understands nor wants to save a young boy’s father from certain death in a race car accident, Jennie affect the destiny of a whole family in ways she could not have dreamed. Only when her path crosses once again with Ross Becker years later does she learn of the powerful impact her kind-spirited intervention had on so many people and how he must now return the favor.
Set between 1940 and 1963, A Favor Returned captures the changing dynamics of families, communities and the nation in the post-World War II era as prosperity and a confidence bordering on arrogance seemed to envelop the country. The historical background mingles with the thread of possibility that there truly may be people who are in this world but not of it, people whose decency and honesty appear too good to be true. Coupled with this is the unsettling chance that unselfish and compassionate actions by these “saints on earth” may set into motion devastatingly tragic consequences. Jennifer Proctor firmly believes in a loving God who had placed some people on earth to help others be happier but time and time again she must face the frustrating fact that He doesn’t explain how this process is supposed to work. When Ross Becker is faced with the final, heart-wrenching dilemma of A Favor Returned, he at last realizes the desperate and utter truth of Jennie’s frustration.
Praise for A Favor Returned . . .
In his first novel, Duke Southard has effectively combined clarity, impact, and penetrating insight. Intellectual stimulation, adventure, and romance jostle one another for your attention. Drawing upon special memories of his childhood, he contructs a vivid picture of the exciting post World War II era.
Dr. Gerald M. Gares
Director of Curriculum and Instruction, (ret)
Burlington Township School District
Burlington, New Jersey
A Favor Returned is a story of how opportunities for favors- given and received- come in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. The story line is compelling, written in prose that flows like a river. The characters are people I came to feel strongly about, whose lives, while not simple, are representative of my life and those around me. Above all, this is a human story, a story of hope, despair, sin and, ultimately, redemption.
Contributing Editor, Technology and Learning Magazine