Charles Martin, a New York Times bestselling author, had his book The Mountain Between Us made into a movie starring Idris Ilba and Kate Winslet. With over sixteen published novels, he enjoys a huge following of readers and he was a special guest speaker at this year’s American Christian Fiction Writers conference in St. Louis.

Like his other books, The Last Exchange would make an amazing movie. I enjoy his books because they are inspirational with a literary narrative voice. They present people struggling and having their faith tested.

In The Last Exchange, A beloved actress, known worldwide as Joe, is preparing for the Oscars, hoping for her third win. While admirers see the winsome girl next door, the reality of Joe’s life is a hot mess. She works brutal hours. She’s married to a narcissistic actor named Syd. She longs to bear a child so much she endures multiple trips to a fertility clinic. She is selfless and kind to a fault, like many who suffer a tough childhood and seek love and validation.

Her story is told from multiple points of view, though primarily from hers. The chapters alternate irregularly from the present, past, and further past. The chapters in the past are labeled BEFORE. Chapters in the present are labeled AFTER. It is up to the reader to decipher the giant turning point between BEFORE and AFTER.

The narrative voice is keenly observant and literary. The dialogue evokes humanity at its core. The reader’s empathy runs deep for Joe because she is a likable young woman doing her best at acting, marriage, and overcoming her own demons. Her wealth does not shield her from predatory news reporters, creepy fans, or untrustworthy people in her inner circle.

Her launch into acting comes from a Hollywood cliché. However, Joe is so likable, readers are likely to overlook this.

She hires a Scotsman named Pockets as a bodyguard, but even he cannot protect her from evil two-faced people. Kidnappings, personal tragedies, exhaustion, and blackmail threaten to wear down her superhuman positivity.

In a rare moment of conversation, Pockets says, “But if you press me, love is what makes us who we are. Hope is how we express us. Hope is love with legs.”

Will Joe’s deepest hope for happiness be fulfilled? Will anyone prove worthy of her trust?

Readers are in for a surprising, twisting journey through Joe’s inspirational story.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an advance reader copy. The Last Exchange is scheduled to debut in October 2023. To pre-order your copy, click on the cover below.

cover art for Charles Martin's book The Last Exchange

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