A book "Doubting Thomas" would delight in: My review of "A Stranger's Gift" by Pulitzer Prize Winner Tom Hallman Jr.

Tom Hallman, Jr., has crafted a read that just may change your life!

Read on for my review of "A Stranger's Gift"....

Publisher: Howard Books (April 3, 2012)


True Stories of Faith in Unexpected Places

In this very personal, welcoming book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tom Hallman, Jr., shares his journey of faith from indifferent agnostic to growing believer. Faith, Hallman tells us, is looking in the mirror in the morning and wondering why. It’s about doubt and hope. It’s catching a glimpse of a beacon piercing the fog of life and walking toward it, never knowing if you’re headed in the right direction, but pressing onward.

You’ll meet ordinary people and be drawn into conversations that ask probing, almost intrusive questions—conversations that linger in your mind and resonate with your heart—from the ache of a mother who watched her baby die after only twenty days of struggling for life to the peaceful strength of a man working with those whose present situations mirror his past.

Within these pages, you’ll find real and honest accounts of everyday people whose discoveries of faith will inspire and comfort you on your own journey.


When I picked up this book, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Was I about to read a book that would hold my interest, or one that would just come across as preachy? Would I find myself able to relate to the people portrayed in it's pages? The answer to both questions is that Tom Hallman has written a book that is utterly engaging, sure to capture your attention from start to finish, and one that is filled with everyday people whose lives reflect the uncertainty and doubt and moments of discovery that we all experience. What I enjoyed most of all is that the author recognizes that God is perfectly fine with our doubts in life, doubts like those expressed by Jesus' disciple Thomas after he was raised from the dead, or doubts you and I struggle with when mired in difficult circumstances. Hallman perfectly captures the fact that we are on a journey, with "one step forward, two steps back". I was struck by Hallman's comment that "In the years to come, I hope that my children remember not what I did for a living, but how I lived". Reading this book will undoubtedly help us grow closer to that goal of living a life of worth and significance.

Crafted with skilled writing, and sure to entertain with inspirational stories while also making you ponder your own faith journey, A Stranger's Gift is a treasure indeed. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

A copy of the book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, for the purposes of this unbiased review.


Tom Hallman Jr.Tom Hallman, Jr., winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, is considered one of the nation’s premier narrative writers. Now a senior reporter, he has worked at The Oregonian for thirty years. Hallman has won every major feature-writing award, some multiple times. He and his wife have two daughters. Hallman was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He’s worked at a car wash, a grocery store, a greyhound race track, and as a volunteer at a Veteran's Administration hospital. He had a stint as a bartender for one week and was once an answer to a question on the television show Jeopardy!