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Finding Redemption: How a Lost Manuscript Became an Inspiration and an Award-Winning Book

The past is not set in stone, or so the adage goes. It is pervasive as a city fog at dusk, oozing into fragile cracks and crevices and casting its pall on the present.

For Xlibris author Ian Prattis, allowing the past to consume him was never an option, and his triumph against that “gentle good night” came in the form of an old codex, one that he wrote many years ago, titled Redemption.

Set in the Hebrides, a group of islands off the west coast of Scotland, Redemption is about Callum Mor, a gifted child, master mariner, and derelict drunk. Callum becomes addicted to alcohol and withdraws from his community. But eventually, he breaks away from his bleak, solitary self-destructiveness in the form of a small girl seeking refuge from a storm. That single act—saving the little girl’s life—awakens Callum’s spirit, helps him exorcise his inner demons, and allows him to claw his way back to redemption.

Redemption has a unique twist of its own: it was written by the author exactly forty years ago, in the throes of his own battle with depression. “Redemption was a lost manuscript, a novel I first wrote in 1975,” recalls Ian. “It was the first book I ever wrote, and I found the manuscript by accident just a few years ago in an old filing cabinet where it was gathering dust.”

“I sat down on the floor and went through it. I could scarcely believe it was such a good read and actually wondered for a moment, ‘who wrote it?’ I requested my wife and a couple of friends with critical eyes to read it just in case I was dreaming.”

Despite the years it lay dormant and lost, Redemption perfectly mirrored Ian’s own struggles with addiction, depression, and emotional isolation, and its story of hope and strength remains as relevant as today. The novel has gone on to receive much praise from readers, as well as earning accolades like winning the General Fiction category prize at the 2015 Florida Book Festival.

Read more about Ian’s moving opus to people suffering from depression and alcoholism here .