Death on Hold was the first book I’d ever read that was based on the life of an inmate. Very intense at times, somber and sad at others, but told from the perspective of the one who lived the moments. It’s an amazing story of growth, love, forgiveness and God’s redemption.
Mitch Rutledge made some bad choices after his mother passed and his dad abandoned him and his siblings. He took to the streets and followed the path of drugs, alcohol and gangs. Finding his “family” in the gang worked for a length of time, but eventually landed him in trouble. He made a decision to take a life, and as a result, was found out by the law, and prosecuted.
Mitch’s story is told primarily by Mitch, however he begins to develop relationships with some families outside of prison; people who want to show him hope, the Gospel and love. These families that wrote to him shared their perspectives through this book as well. It’s beautiful to see their hearts and viewpoints during court sessions, meeting Mitch in the “yard” and during their prayers as he had to wait to see if he could get off of death row.
To Mitch, a young man who couldn’t read or write, it took a while to find out what the letter writers were saying, but he began to study English and believe that he had value. Fellow inmates would read him the letters of those who wanted to teach him about Jesus, and as a result, he learned to read and write, and took what he was learning from his friends and the Bible to heart. He ended up becoming repentant, and became a person known in prison for staying neutral and defusing tough situations.
Read this book to learn the story of a man who is rehabilitated, learn about Jesus in a new way, and/or see the work of the Lord behind bars. No one is out of His reach!
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