Thursday 9 April 2020

Stay With Me - Carolyn Astfalk - Stay With Me Book 1

Stay With Me
Stay With Me Book 1
Carolyn Astfalk
Full Quiver Publishing

ISBN 99780987915399

This was the fifth novel by Carolyn Astfalk that I have read, I have also read her short story in the collections, Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories and Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens. I read book 2 Come Back to Me, prior to reading this volume. It was such an excellent read, it took everything I had to not read this book immediately. But my commitment to alternate fiction and non-fiction held out. And even with the wait this was an excellent story. This book sat in my ‘to be read’ pile for over 30 months. That was my loss. It is an excellent Christian fiction story, And Catholic literature novel. I wish there had been more books like this when I was a teen, and young adult. I am certain reading stories like this I would have hurt less people and been hurt less myself. 

No as a 50 year old man I might not be the target audience for this sort of novel. But I really enjoyed it. And how to reread it with both my girls and my son. MY oldest daughter is ready for this story. The other are too young still. But I want stories like this to help shape and form them. Some would classify this as a romance novel. But I would say it is more a novel about relationships. About healing. And about learning to see and follow God in all things. 

The story revolves around Rebecca and Chris, and their friend Father John. Chris is a convert to Catholicism. And He feels a prompting to ask Rebecca out. Rebecca was raised in an unassociated church and raised with emotional and spiritual abuse at the hands of her father. The novel follows the dating relationship, breakup, and reunion of the two. They do have premarital sex, in a moment of weakness, but both regret it, and strive to overcome it. 

Fair waring this is a page turner. Once you start reading you will not want to stop. The writing is excellent. And the characters wonderfully written. Chris and Father John seem like the type of men I would want in my life. 

Reading this story I thought that this story could be about my own brothers, guys I grew up with or even friends now. It is very real. And at times it is very raw. But also open an honest. The characters are exceptionally well written. The writing reminds me of some of Madeleine L’Engle’s more mature Chronos stories or her adult fiction and adult non-fiction. 

Overall the story was a great surprise. I do not even remember why I picked it up originally. But like all of Astfalk’s books I have read, I have been blessed and challenged by reading this novel. It is fiction that will inspire and support faith. 

Another excellent read from Full Quiver Publishing and from Carolyn Astfalk’s masterful pen.

1 comment:

Carolyn Astfalk said...

Thanks so much for this review, Steve! This was my first published book, and these characters will always be close to my heart.