Thursday Throwback

The RodJudy

The Rod by Judy Johns Heathcoe is an intriguing book with an even more interesting premise.

The story-line picks up rapidly after the first few pages of character descriptions, so much so that at times you don’t even realize you are holding your breath until you have to exhale.

The book centers primarily on two characters: Heath Morgan and Harland McGowan.

Heath Morgan, a security guard, is a family man; he is married with three stepdaughters, which includes a set of twins. His wife, Julie, met and later married him after a frightening experience involving one of her children.

Harland McGowan is an archaeologist who stumbles across what he believes to be Moses’ staff, or rod, if you will – hence the title of the book.

Everything is set in motion when Heath and his family stop at the estate sale of the now deceased Harland McGowan. Heath finds what he thinks is a great walking stick and decides to buy it. Soon he realizes something is very different about this “stick” when he tries to saw it down to a more manageable size. He is unable to, because the wood is strong as steel and causes the saw to jerk away, injuring his arm in the process. Beginning at this point, more and more strange things occur in Heath’s life, each involving the rod.

From the point of Heath’s purchase the action really begins. The story is written from Heath’s and Harland’s perspectives. Heath’s is in current day; Harland’s is from the 1970′s. I don’t want to give away too much of the book, but it is a remarkable story. Plan to take several hours out of your day; because once you get into the story, you won’t want to put it down until you are finished.

Harland McGowan is one of the few students at Pepperdine University in California chosen to go on an archaeological dig for a Field Project in Jordan. While on the project Harland stumbles across the grave of Moses and comes away with Moses’ rod. Harland, too, experiences many bizarre episodes caused by the rod.

I want to thank Judy, the author and a friend for the chance to read and review The Rod.


The novel, though not categorized as speculative Christian fiction genre, would have no problem falling into the category.

Though The Rod has some strong Christian themes, there are a few curse words scattered throughout, selling of drugs and allusions to drug use that may be bothersome to some readers.

I wrote this some time ago but have re-written parts and omitted others.


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