Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Good Summer Read: In Name Only

"1876, Philadelphia. Caroline Martin's life has finally taken a turn for the better. After years of hard work, she has met a virtuous and wealthy man whose love seems to promise the kind of life realized only within the comforting novels she keeps on her night table. Tragedy, however, will teach Caroline of the complexity with which God Himself authors the lives of those who turn toward Him."

Don't you love it when a book surprises you?  I started this new book on my Kindle the other night; I couldn't remember where I had heard of it, or who had recommended it.  I probably got it when it was free for one day in the Kindle store!   I was not favorably impressed by the writing or the stilted characters who were too perfect, too polite.  For the first couple of nights, I read only a little bit, but then I got into it a little more.

Yesterday morning, I decided to read a little bit with my coffee while I "woke up".  When I looked at the clock, it was 10:45!  In Name Only had definitely grabbed my attention and held it!  Though I had been reading for 4 hours (!) already, I didn't bother to stop until I had finished the book around 1:00 p.m.  (It's summer, right?  We had nowhere to go.)

I couldn't remember the name of the book I was reading, but I had discovered along the way that it is a Catholic novel.  I've read Catholic novels before that spend a lot of pages hammering you over the head with Church teaching, and while Ellen Gable does explain certain teachings, I thought they flowed better with the story.  The interesting part was how the couple, married in name only, tried to live up to these teachings, sometimes failing, and then having to live with the very real consequences of sin.

Coincidentally enough, this is a perfect book for NFP Awareness Week!  It takes place in the late 19th century, but there is still plenty of discussion of contraception as it existed at the time.  I found myself thinking about it for the rest of the day.  To me, a book or a movie is a success if you keep pondering it for a couple of days.   Not the most well-written romantic novel, but definitely a good summer read.

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