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Send comments to: JACK FRERKER
Sheila Rhoades, Missouri
Shirley Vancil, Illinois
Mary Kimmel, Illinois
I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your books, particularly with the references to the Carlyle area. It took me home while I was reading!
Sharyn Markus, Colorado
Just wanted to let you know I read SOLSTICE on my trip to Hawaii last week and loved it! I've really enjoyed reading your first two books ... I have been easily engrossed into the storylines. I can't wait for your next, Connections ... keep them coming!
Lisa Frerker, Illinois
Thanks for writing SOLSTICE. It was a good read very engaging. It was a perfect travel companion. I enjoyed reading about places that are familiar and I could easily identify with John as he encountered some very believable situations.
Bishop Paul Zipfel, North Dakota
I really liked SOLSTICE - had to wipe a tear from my eye at the end. Looking forward to your next book!
Rose Cuca, Illinois
SOLSTICE is a heartwarming story of bringing (step) siblings into each other's life for the first time as adults following the mysterious death of their biological mother. To have the opportunity to read this book between Thanksgiving and Christmas had a special significance as it conveyed love, faith and hope ... Lets hope Fr. Jack will continue to write.
Tom Vickery, Arizona
Wow! Really enjoyed your book. I'm proud of you! (and a little jealous!)
I see great potential for Fr. Winterman becoming a vehicle for modern Catholic treatment for a spectrum of modern philosophical problems like counseling a girl away from abortion, a married couple torn apart by an affair, a girl trying to get over her experience in pornography, female parishioners being sexually attracted to the ministers, a corporate whistle blower, the parents of a homosexual, counseling an atheist away from suicide during depression, a young couple's grief from a miscarriage, exploring aggression and hatred through prison violence, and a million others.
I really like your use of the almost incidental descriptions of the rituals of the priesthood as transitions between action scenes. (Catholics will surely recognize the priesthood as a fulfilling and noble career.)
Another great feature of the book was using Winterman's knowledge of theology and psychology to explain motivations, giving sound and smell to the environment of the city, the park, the restaurants, and the various rooms of the church. I like the fact that the young man could not speak for himself and that the priest was there to help. How many people could use that in this world???
You know, you do have the right to single-space and to use 300-400 pages to more fully flesh out this world of people. You could have used time transportation to put us into the battle, for example. You could have led us through the conversations between the young pregnant girl and her priest in Rockford. You could have introduced a hard-assed bishop that demanded Winterman bring in the police. You could have let us know what the half brother inherited.
But, no, the old priest has only twenty minutes for his homily and it is paramount that the audience's attention span not be challenged! Please, do not underestimate your readers. Take us as deep as you can get us. What you are really selling is the truth, and as Einstein said: "things should be as simple as possible, and no simpler."
WONDERFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT! I can't wait for number 3!
Barry Halgrimson, Ohio
SOLSTICE gives Frerker the opportunity to take a character from the country and drop him into a big city, and into a major mystery: though this is sometimes a cliché, Frerker gives us an interesting character in Father Wintermann ... Thus, some of the standard clichés drift away thanks to Wintermann and his personality and character. Frerker also does a good job with Chicago and with the details of the mystery itself.
Solstice was a alluring read, (though) the ending was a little toned down ... much like real life. But that did not render the read disappointing. I enjoyed every turn of the page. You touched on the generosity of middle income families in Heat and Solstice.
Connections was a neat look at the religious life as a Sacrament. People always talked to me when I was younger about the priesthood, but nobody offered me any explanation as to what I could expect in the way of support and education. I enjoyed learning and spent more than one moment wondering if my life may have been different had I read something like your book when I was being addressed. But I also enjoyed the character development between the priest and the bishop along with the confidants (like Buene). I could have used a little more character interaction and explanation as to the teacher ... and the friend ... much in the same way that you spent a little extra time on ... Peter. On each, I would have liked to see a little more interaction (maybe during the ski trips, through a little more dialogue) to touch on the manner and the extent to which priests can share their dilemmas with fellow religious. And not a Nun in sight! Today I guess that's true. And I loved the plot twist with the mobster and the lawyer at the end. With the lawyer, you played his mystery almost perfect; I was always wondering why his character revolved in and out of the story.
I enjoy each book for exactly what I perceive it to be; an entertaining and enjoyable read on the subtleties of Midwestern life, on the farm and in the big cities, through the eyes of a priest.
Under random thoughts, any ideas surrounding Father John in an ecclesiastical mystery with other denominations; an all encompassing look at how each religion has certain influences in a small town passed on where its strongest parishioners have pull (or hold political offices). Perhaps an offshoot would be an artful comment about those parishioners (every religion has them) that are the wealthiest but can also be the stingiest. You touched on the generosity of middle income families in Heat and Solstice.
B Jasper, California
I just finished Solstice and (my wife) is enjoying Heat. They are "feel good" books with a nice touch of Romanticism. We are just enjoying them, and I never dreamed you could write with such feeling ... There has to be a really great story in the couple who own the Algoma drugstore!
Rodney Field, Florida
Solstice, the longest night of the year when things that were shameful could be done,&nb sp;had a captivating story line. It was hard to put the book down. I appreciated Father John's desire to bring hurting souls to wholeness.
Rose Russell, Washington