7 reviews

Wonders Never Cease
by Tim Downs

Published: 2010-05-11
Paperback : 320 pages
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Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 7 members
"It's true what they say, you know: If you talk to God, you're religious; but if you hear from God, you're schizophrenic." When a car accident leaves a famous movie star in a coma, nurse Kemp McAvoy thinks he has found his ticket to the life he's always wanted. As a med school dropout who was on ...
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"It's true what they say, you know: If you talk to God, you're religious; but if you hear from God, you're schizophrenic." When a car accident leaves a famous movie star in a coma, nurse Kemp McAvoy thinks he has found his ticket to the life he's always wanted. As a med school dropout who was on his way to becoming an anesthesiologist, Kemp has the knowledge to carry off the crazy plan he concocts: adjust the star's medication each night and pretend to be a heavenly visitor giving her messages. He recruits her agent and a down-and-out publisher to make sure the messages will become the next spiritual bestseller and make them all rich. But his girlfriend's daughter, Leah, keeps telling people that she is seeing angels, and her mother and her teachers are all afraid that something is wrong. Before it's all over, they'll all learn a few things about angels, love, and hope.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.


Beverly Hills, California
So tell me. What did you think of the script?”
“I loved it. I devoured it. It was genius.”
She was lying. In twenty years of acting, Olivia Hayden had
never read an entire screenplay from cover to cover. Liv didn’t
like to read—it bored her. Whenever the studios sent over a
script, she simply passed it on to her agent, Morty Biederman.
She always let Morty digest the thing and evaluate her part,
then run off the pages containing her dialogue and send them
back to her, reducing the 120-page screenplay to a manageable
few sheets of Courier 12-point text. Liv always told the
tabloids that she didn’t like to read because she was dyslexic,
because that’s what Tom Cruise had told them and it seemed
to work for him—and Liv could stand a little more sympathy
from the rags these days.
The young director let out a sigh of relief. “I was afraid you
might not like it.”
“It’s brilliant,” she said with just the right touch of breathless
When the director glanced down at his feet in modesty,
Liv used the opportunity to quickly look him over. I wonder if
this kid has a driver’s license? she thought, shaking her head ever so slightly. The guy couldn’t have been more than twenty-
he probably had his UCLA Film School diploma still
rolled up in his back pocket. But hey, the kid had a script and
he had a studio backing him, and a part is a part. Is that a
pimple? Man, I’m old enough to be his . . . older sister.
“You know, I cowrote this script,” the director said.
“Astonishing. A multidimensional talent.”
Liar. Who did he think he was fooling? Morty had already
filled her in. The kid had just stumbled onto a decent story
concept, then hired himself a second-string writer to hammer
out a treatment and first draft. He probably bought the script
outright and then pasted his own name on the cover to negotiate
a better deal as a writer-director hyphenate, inflating his
salary and granting him casting privileges. That’s the only reason
Liv was sitting there: if this kid wasn’t casting the film she
wouldn’t even be talking to him. She rarely spoke to a director
before a deal was signed, and writers—well, everybody in
Hollywood knows that writers are basically pond scum.
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to find out you were
available,” he said.
“You were lucky,” Liv said. “I happen to be between films
right now.”
Way between. Ten years ago she wouldn’t have taken a second
glance at a half-baked script like this, but it was a lead role,
after all, and good parts were getting hard to find.
“What’s the title again?” she asked.
“Lips of Fury.”
She winced. “Catchy.”
“I think some of the dialogue still needs a little tweaking,”
he said.
“Don’t you dare change a thing. It’s perfect the way it is.”
Why bother? She never argued about a script before she was on the set anyway. Once production started the clock would
be ticking and money would be flowing like water—then she
would have leverage and she could rip the script to shreds.
... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1. Kemp thinks he has the perfect plan to make him rich and give him the life he’s always wanted, but his plan goes awry. What do you think was his first error in judgment? Do you see any way this plan could have worked?

2. Natalie tells Matt, “You can’t believe in something unless you’re at least willing to believe it’s possible—otherwise you’ll never take a second look.” Do you agree with her? What are some things that you think you’re willing to believe? What do you know you’re not willing to believe?

3. Emmet is much more than a janitor, at least to Natalie and Leah. How would you describe him? Do you think he’s a person who looks out for others, or is he something more?

Suggested by Members

How does self-entitlement affect our choices? The lives around us?
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by MelAdair (see profile) 09/15/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from the author:

There are so many “spiritual bestsellers” out there these days, and they range in quality from “thoughtful” to “downright ridiculous.” There have always been spiritual hucksters who try to make a fast buck off the spiritual interest of others though they themselves are skeptics—but the real thing is out there too. That’s one of the themes of “Wonders Never Cease”: Even when the phonies are doing their best to confuse everyone, the real thing is still out there. Plus, we live in such skeptical times that our skepticism can lead us to doubt not only the phony but the genuine article as well. That’s another theme of the book. I want the reader to come away asking, “If I’m a skeptic, am I entitled to my skepticism? What assumptions do I hold about life and reality that keep me from believing other things—and where did I get those assumptions?” “Wonders Never Cease” is a small but very thoughtful book.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "The Little Chicas liked it!"by Sheilla D. (see profile) 09/18/10

Our book club liked this book. It was a cute story that was very easy to read. It provoked a lot of discussion at our book club regarding faith and what we believe. I would recommend it to anyone who needs... (read more)

  "Wonders Never Cease"by Mel A. (see profile) 09/15/10

The characters were very well-written. While I had compassion for some, I was infuriated by others. Most convicting of all was that I could see bits of myself in several of the different characters so... (read more)

  "Wonders Never Cease"by Loriel B. (see profile) 09/14/10

  "Cute"by Melinda A. (see profile) 09/11/10

This was a quick and fun read.

  "Wonders Never Ceas"by Jennifer C. (see profile) 08/16/10

I liked it... very easy reading, flowed quickly - good ending!

  "Wonders Never Cease"by Denise G. (see profile) 07/09/10

This book is a quick read and it keeps you intrested in what is going to happen next. It has may a little bit of everything, drama and hummor. not bad. would recommend it.

  "Wonders Never Cease"by Helena L. (see profile) 09/20/10

I enjoyed the book. It was an easy read and could be put down and picked up a few days later and not feel lost. It also sparked good discussion at our club meeting. Would recommend it just for that... (read more)

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