Beautifully described settings and original, fully-realized characters set this novel of faith by W. Dale Cramer (Sutter's Cross) apart from typical coming-of-age stories.

Upon his widowed mother's death, 17-year-old Jeremy Prine heads for Georgia, hoping to connect with his estranged Uncle Aiden, known as Snake. The disfigured, alcoholic Snake holds the boy at arm's length, but against his uncle's wishes, Jeremy signs on to work with him as a tunnel-blaster.

There he meets all manner of rough-and-tumble characters, carving out a tunnel to hold Atlanta's sewage and rain overflow.

Protected by his mother all his life, Jeremy is discouraged and fearful as he tries to make sense of his dangerous new world and the difficulties that have marked his life.

" … Somewhere in the recesses of his mind, he knew he was no more a victim than anybody else, and that ultimately it would be up to him to find his own way," Cramer writes of Jeremy. "Silently … he prayed, Help me. I don't want to be a boy anymore. I need to be a man."

As the story unfolds, Jeremy faces his worst fears and helps Snake overcome the demons of his past, as well.

This novel confirms Cramer as one of the brightest new voices in faith fiction.

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