The Watermark – Travis Thrasher

The Watermark Travis Thrasher
The Watermark by Travis Thrasher
Published by Tyndale on September 24, 2001
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance
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four-stars

“I wanted to tell her the truth. I wanted to finally tell her everything. But the door slammed shut as it rightfully should have before I could be brave enough to do a thing.”
Sheridan Blake believes he has made one mistake that is beyond the reach of God’s forgiveness. Even after seven years of hopelessness, Sheridan still struggles to make something out of his life. When Genevie Dayton interrupts his self-imposed isolation, Sheridan dates to hope for a second chance.

Watermark – A mark impressed on paper that is visible only when the paper is held up to the light.

Sheridan Blake is finally getting back to life. After…an incident…that caused him to not finish his degree in music at Covenant, the now 28 year old Sheridan is returning for his senior year. His wild days of his early twenties behind him, Sheridan is now back in school intent on finishing his degree.

One night during a movie matinee, he runs into Genevie Liu and is instantly smitten? interested? in love? Sheridan’s not really sure which, but he does know that he wants to get to know this lovely lady better. Maybe it’ll help him move on from his past.

In The Watermark, Travis Thrasher gives us a story of love that leads to redemption, calling the prodigal son to come back home and forgiving him of the sins of the past. Sheridan’s life holds a horrible secret. One that too many know but are too kind to tell. A secret he’s been forever haunted by. Each chapter begins with a letter to a girl named Amy, someone who has something to do with the secret of Sheridan’s past.

As Genevie and Sheridan grow closer, Sheridan struggles with sharing his secret. His sin was too great, too heinous, unforgiveable. But through the power of love, Sheridan learns that God can work the greatest of goods out of the most horrible sin and bring the chief of sinners back into his arms.

Travis Thrasher follows up his debut novel, The Promise Remains, with another simple love-story undergirded with a solid spiritual theme. The suspense of slowly figuring out about Sheridan’s past stands in contrast to the story being told from Sheridan’s first person perspective, but it serves as an interesting device that heightens the book’s emotional tension. Blending humor with intensely serious moments, Thrasher finds the perfect balance and creates a love story all can enjoy. The Watermark is a testament of the forgiveness of God wrapped in a story of love.

Mini Q&A with Travis

Josh: The Watermark was your second published novel. Once you’re published, did anything change in your writing process?

I had already started writing The Watermark even before The Promise Remains was contracted for. I felt like my first novel was a good start. I wanted to do something deeper, something more personal. So The Watermark was my most personal story up to the publication of Sky Blue.

It would have been easy to say “Hey, they liked the structure and style of The Promise Remains.” Male and female points of view, back and forth. Third person past tense. So did I follow that formula? Nope.

Thus started a theme with me. Well, I did it that way last time, let me try another way this time.

At the end of my first novel, it’s about whether they get together. At the end of this one, it’s about whether Sheridan finds hope.

Josh: You tell a story here of hope borne out of tragedy. How would you answer those who say that God is not justified in allowing evil, even if he works good through it?

Four questions into this and you ask me a whopper like this? My last name is Thrasher, not Colson. Come on!

I believe that God created something wonderful and perfect when he created this world and man. It was man who messed it up (and if it wasn’t Adam and Eve, it would have been someone else). I think it’s amazing that God didn’t completely wipe out his creation and start over again. Seriously. I’ve thought of this–what if I was writing a novel and my characters turned against me? This is how I in a tiny, simpleton way try to understand this.

So why does evil occur and is God justified? Come on—I can’t do justice in an answer. I know God can make good come out of anything. I’m surprised that God can make blessings out of our mistakes—out of failures and sin and suffering. I think it’s only by God’s grace that He doesn’t abandon us all together.

four-stars

About Travis Thrasher

Travis Thrasher

Bestselling author Travis Thrasher has written over 50 books, spanning genres in fiction, nonfiction and children’s literature. His inspirational stories have included collaborations with filmmakers, musicians, athletes, celebrities and pastors.

With the childhood goal of pursuing a writing career starting in third grade, Thrasher worked for 13 years at Tyndale House Publishers after graduating college. His experience working with as Author Relations Manager allowed him to understand the writing life as well as training him to work with a variety of personalities. This experience has proven to be invaluable with varied writing projects in the decade he’s been a full-time writer.

His novels are as diverse as the people he’s worked with, ranging from love stories to supernatural thrillers. Publishers Weekly said “Sara and Ethan are two of the most real and sensitive lovers to grace the genre” when reviewing his first novel, The Promise Remains. They also stated “Thrasher demonstrates a considerable talent for the horror genre” in a review for Isolation years later. His readers have enjoyed the unpredictability of his novels, whether it’s due to a unique style such as second person or a twist they never saw coming.

Thrasher’s storytelling ability has also allowed him to work with others on their books, from musicians like country musician Scotty McCreery and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain to the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty. He has also penned novels based on songs such as Paper Angels with Jimmy Wayne and novelizations for films including Do You Believe? and God’s Not Dead 2. Upcoming projects continue to expand his talents, with projects including The Black Auxiliary about the lives of the 17 American black athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, and Baby Don’t Hurt Me about comedian Chris Kattan’s life and time on Saturday Night Live.

Travis lives with his wife and three young daughters in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.

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