The Final Service

Reviewed by: Margaret Frye, a Professional Writing major at Taylor University, Upland,


Title: The Final Service

Author: Gary W. Moore

Publisher: Casemate Publishing

Publication Date: 2016

Format: print book

Length: 173 pages



The story centers on a middle-aged music teacher, Sandy Richards (Shadow), who must spend her summer holiday cleaning out her father’s barn after his recent passing.  Though her nickname came from her childhood affinity of following her father around, their relationship was strained in the latter part of his life.  Sandy’s bitterness about having to perform this “final service” for her father is apparent, though she begins to soften through visits with a mysterious stranger who shows up in the old barn to “help.”

The writing is descriptive, and the story is well written, even if a bit cheesy at times.  Themes of forgiveness and understanding are heavily portrayed by the story.  The characters are memorable; however, I thought some of them (especially Shadow) were a bit extreme, which made the story less believable.  There is a mysterious character reminiscent of the popular “Touched by an Angel” television and book series, but unlike in that series Moore’s character has a direct link to someone who lived before—almost ghostly.   Because it is a novel and not a theological dissertation, I personally did not see any doctrinal problems with the central characters, but readers should beware of this element of biblical license.



Rating (1 to 5)

3 stars

Suggested Audience

Adult Women

Christian Impact

The main character Shadow struggles with her faith.  She is not entirely sure she believes in God, but if she does, she seems to be quite annoyed with Him.  She also wrestles with forgiveness.  The reader is taken along Shadow’s journey of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Shadow’s experience also demonstrates that empathy and love can come from listening to and understanding a person’s story.

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The Final Service

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