by Marcia Lee Laycock
Castle Quay Books, 2007
Winner of the 2006 Best New Canadian Christian Author Award (the Word Guild), One Smooth Stone tells the story of Alex Donnelly, a man on the run from his past, a man who believes he can trust no one.
Orphaned by his parents and then by his adoptive parents, Alex grows up in the foster care system, moving from one family to another until he is taken in by an abusive couple where he suffers neglect and torment for several years. Faced with the accusation of raping a 13-year-old girl in Vancouver, he runs away at the age of 16, and hides in the Yukon.
But God has a plan for Alex, and one day a man named George shows up on Alex's property. The lawyer says Alex is the heir to one million dollars - he just needs to go to Seattle to be positively identified and to sign the paperwork. Alex is skeptical. Is this for real? Do they have the right Alex Donnelly? Isn't the past safest left in the past?
In Seattle, Alex meets Kenni, the researcher who traced his whereabouts. After spending a few days with her and her family at their secluded cottage, Alex's semi-healed-over emotional wounds begin to reopen. The tension is too great for him to bear. Then, given a package from his mother, Alex discovers something he didn't want to know and takes off for the wilderness without his inheritance.
Will he survive the dangers that face him in his isolated winter job? Will Kenni be able to find him to share the missing letter from his mother? Can God find a way to reach him even in the place of desolation? Can Alex share the truth and find it sets him free?
A powerful first novel from prolific freelance writer, Marcia Laycock. Endorsed by Mark Buchanan: "tells a crackling good tale of crime and punishment, damnation and redemption that is at once grimly real and deeply hopeful" and by Phil Callaway: "makes me smile, nod my head, and furrow my brow. She makes me question, and long, and wonder. Plus she makes me glad I spent fifteen bucks!"