This story surprised me. From the title (I Said Not Now) I expected to find a story about a child whose parents didn’t have time for him/her. Or even for a pet whose owner always had other things to do. But titles, and book covers, can be deceiving. That is certainly true in this case. For a short novel (a mere 118 pages), this story packed a lot of punch.
I would guess that the story opens in the late 1970s or early 1980s where we meet Tom and his wife and son. Tom has just returned from an overseas visit to Israel. On every trip he brings back a small plant or seed. And after every trip he squirrels himself away in a corner of the family farm where he has an orchard established. But each of the eleven trees in the orchard have fruit that is strange. And when one day his son plucks a ripened fruit from one of the trees, Tom becomes agitated and sends his son back to the house. The following morning, Tom is found dead in his bed from a heart attack. Has he eaten the fruit he warned his son about?
Fast forward an entire generation. The son has become a doctor, married and moved away, and started a family of his own. Tom’s nineteen year old grandson, Tommy, has witnessed the biblical Rapture and makes his way from the Carolinas back to the family farm in northwest Florida where he uncovers the secret of the orchard and what his grandfather was trying to recreate; all the while he recalls what his father used to say about the human appendix: why does it have no function? If it was useless, why would God have created it? Did it have a function at one time? The answers are contained in a set of five of his grandfather’s journals. And in time, Tommy learns where the phrase, “I Said Not Now”, was first uttered and why it has such great meaning for the end times.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by author Jeff Janes. In fact, I couldn’t put it down and read it in one evening. A concisely written story for all ages that will have you turning pages until the end. I certainly hope that Mr. Janes is writing more.
Note: I was provided with a review copy of the book by the author.