Tyndale House Publishers, Inc
About the Book
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About the Book
Billy Allman is a hillbilly genius. People in Dogwood, West Virginia, say he was born with a second helping of brains and a gift for playing the mandolin but was cut short on social skills. Though he’d gladly give you the shirt off his back, they were right. Billy longs to use his life as an ode to God, a lyrical, beautiful bluegrass song played with a finely tuned heart. So with spare parts from a lifetime of collecting, he builds a radio station in his own home. People in town laugh. But Billy carries a brutal secret that keeps him from significance and purpose. Things always seem to go wrong for him.
However small his life seems, from a different perspective Billy’s song reaches far beyond the hills and hollers he calls home. Malachi is an angel sent to observe Billy. Though it is not his dream assignment, Malachi follows the man and begins to see the bigger picture of how each painful step Billy takes is a note added to a beautiful symphony that will forever change the lives of those who hear it.
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1. At the end of the first chapter, Billy finally reveals how he was really saved from the flood. Have you ever experienced a situation like that, where something happened to you that you couldn’t explain?
2. What were your first impressions of Malachi? Was he what you would have expected an angel to be like? Why or why not?
3. At the beginning of chapter 3, Billy says, “I have heard that your first childhood memory is telling.” What is your first childhood memory, and what do you think it says about you?
4. In chapter 8, Malachi observes that Heather was being pulled away from God by her own passions, and he assumed that is why the enemy left her alone. Is that reassuring to you or convicting?
5. In chapter 10, Billy faces one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever had to make concerning the care of his mother. Did you identify with Billy’s actions? Have you ever had to make a similar decision? How did you handle it?
6. Throughout the story, many people extend small acts of kindness toward Billy—Adrian Rogers, Callie, Charles Broughton. Has anyone ever extended similar kindnesses to you? How did it make you feel?
7. At times, it feels like Billy loses just about everything he loves. One of the demons even remarks that everything he touches withers and dies. How do you think Billy feels about his life? Why? If it would have been easier for Billy to stay in his shell, why does he take the risk he does?
8. In chapter 16, Billy says that to many, “God is not someone you know but something you try to get off your back.” Have you felt this way at some point in your own life? How do you see this play out in our society?
9. Throughout the story, how do you see God showing his love for Billy, even at times when Billy doesn’t recognize it? Can you think of similar examples of God’s love in your own life?
10. An event in Billy’s teenage years affects him greatly. How was Billy finally able to overcome the effects of that event? Have you ever faced a traumatic event, and how did you overcome it?
11. In chapter 27, Malachi wrestles with the fact that he was called away by God during a crucial time in Billy’s life. Back in chapter 7, Malachi’s commander had warned him about this, and told him that the “events to come must occur.” How did this make you feel?
12. Though Callie had a strong faith, she reached a time when that faith wavered and she became susceptible to evil. What brought her to that point?
13. What do you think Malachi took from his observance of Billy’s life? Where do you think Malachi was sent next?
14. In ALMOST HEAVEN, we learn a lot about people like Billy, Callie, Natalie, and Sheriff Preston. How do you picture them five years after the close of this story?
15. After reading the story, what did you admire most about Billy Allman?
© Copyright 2017 by Chris Fabry. Reprinted with permission by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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