Children of Covenant

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
234 Pages
Reviewed on 03/23/2017
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Author Biography

Fred Howard is the minister of the Unitarian Church of Valdosta, Georgia. He has also published Transforming Faith: Stories of Change from a Lifelong Spiritual Seeker, which won the Nautilus Book Award.

Howard was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. He studied at Valdosta State College and the Medical College of Georgia and spent twenty years practicing medicine. Howard then chose a new calling and graduated from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in 2006. He spent a year in the clinical pastoral education program at Emory Hospital and was ordained by the Christian Universalist Association.

Howard lives with his wife, Kathy, in Valdosta. They have three children, Mandy, Misty, and Dustin, and seven grandchildren.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite

I really enjoyed this book. I was attracted to Children of Covenant by Fred Howard by the brief description of the story, but I was still surprised at the depth of the contents. A Muslim man, Ismael Hagarson, is refused permission to buy a building for conversion into a mosque in a small American town in the Bible Belt. The owner of the building is found hanged and Ismael is suspected of the murder and arrested. There are further doubts about him from the downloads on his computer - accessing terrorists sites he’d researched for his lectures in political science which he teaches at the local college. Ike Benheart is the pastor who runs the Unitarian Church, having broken away from his earlier congregation due to his beliefs that homosexuals should be granted the same rights as heterosexuals within the church. As a result of his more modern way of thinking, he has become an outcast in the town. He befriends Ismael, although their beliefs are radically different, or so they think. The end of the book reveals a surprise which explains the deep friendship that develops between them.

It’s too easy to think that a book centred on religious beliefs would champion one side or the other, especially in the current world climate. So, in Children of Covenant by Fred Howard, it was a delightful surprise to read and learn about both religious factions. A great deal of research has gone into this book, and the author knows what he is talking about. I was really impressed at how evenly both religions are explained, how both have their place in the world. At no point is one said to be better than the other, and the fairness the author shows made for a very good book. I like books which introduce facts I’d not known before and as it explains that the Christian churches have many different sects, so too does the Muslim faith. It’s quite difficult to write a review for this book without giving away any spoilers, but it was a great read; it reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird. It made me think and I’m more than happy to give it five stars.

Peggy Averyt

It was a murder mystery and a historical fiction tied into one. You will enjoy the suspense built into the story regarding the death of one of the town's respected citizens. You will also learn a great deal about the history of one of the oldest religions in the world, as well as the history of Bangladesh.. The author has done his research well, and wrote an interesting story to tie it all together. I highly recommend this book.