Friday 3 August 2018

A Soldier Surrenders The Conversion of St. Camillus de Lillis - Susan Peek - God's Forgotten Friends Lives of Little-known Saints Book 2

A Soldier Surrenders
The Conversion of St. Camillus de Lillis 
God's Forgotten Friends Lives of Little-known Saints Book 2
Susan Peek
Seven Swords Publications
ISBN 9780997000511

This is the fourth book by Susan Peek that I have read. And in some ways it is the most powerful. I loved Saint Magnus The Last Viking, and found it very well written. And her handling of mental illness and especially PTSD in The King's Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland was incredible. And her handling of the crusades in Crusader King: A Novel of Baldwin IV and the Crusades was masterful. But this book really hit home for me. St. Camillus de Lellis was not a saint that I was familiar with prior to reading Peek's contribution in Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories from Catholic Teen Books. But the short story had a deep impact on me and this book even more so. 

This book was hard to put down. But I needed to take a few breaks while reading it. As soon as I finished reading this I told my son about it and started rereading it with him. This saint messed up in nearly every way possible. Prior to his conversion if there was a top ten list of people likely not to become saints he would have been at the top of that list! He served in the Turks Army, He was in a dual and almost killed a man, he gambled away his last possessions, He was a brute, a brawler, a gambler, and more. And this story though Historical Fiction is an amazing read. It is a wonderful telling of a story of repentance and change. It is the story of friendship, repentance and change. As a man of Irish Catholic descent, I can really elate to Camillus, his struggle with his temper, and with learning to surrender to God. Temper and pride causes Camillus to stumble and fall 

This book serves to show that no matter how much a person struggles, if God is calling them, eventually they will yield and hear the call. It is well written, though aimed for a Young Adult market, it is very enjoyable to read as an adult. Over the past year I have read a few books about the history of the crusades. This book presents a very different side and is excellent for rounding out the historical picture. I can state emphatically that this book is an excellent read, and I look forward to more books in the God's Forgotten Friends Lives of Little-known Saints series by Susan Peek!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

1 comment:

Susie said...

Thank you for such a wonderful review, Steven!