Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Back in April, Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur--a freelance writer, editor, and book author--was kind enough to read and then do a review of my novel Finding Grace, which she posted on her Spiritual Woman website.  In case you've been sitting on the fence, wondering if this is a book you should have your teenage daughter read (or even read yourself, because it's written for an adult audience as well), maybe this review will inspire you to get your hands on a copy...or inspire you to suggest it as a book club choice, if the gals in your group are looking for something a whole lot more wholesome than Shades of Gray...or inspire you to incorporate it into the curriculum of your homeschool reading group (for grades 8 and up).

I know I've been talking about my book a lot recently on this blog; but one thing I did learn at the Catholic Writers Guild conference a few weeks ago is that although Catholic writers are rarely rich and famous, they have an important mission, a vocation: they are evangelizers. As the coffee mugs that were given out in our conference goody bags say of those who work in the field of Catholic literature, "I am a journalist, I am an editor, I am a writer, I am a publisher, I am a CONTENT EVANGELIST."  If it's meant as an evangelization tool and it sits hidden away gathering dust on a shelf, then my book isn't going to do anybody any good.

And truly, when I set out to write this novel, I did think of it as doing my small part to evangelize.  I wanted to present an alternative to all the damaging secular messages that are being thrown at our young people on a daily basis--on TV and the Internet, in movies and books--and show the beauty and Truth of the Catholic Faith, and how the answers to all of life's most difficult questions can be found in its teachings.

Okay now, without further ado, here's the Spiritual Woman review.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book Review: Finding Grace

Finding Grace
by Laura H. Pearl
Waterford, MI: Bezalel Books, 2012

“Finding Grace” by Laura H. Pearl  is a Catholic coming-of-age novel set in the 1970s. Grace Kelly shares a name with the famous princess, but little else. She’s a plain, awkward girl entering her teen years, struggling to find her place in the world as she grows up in Plattsburgh, New York. She has devout Catholic parents, a house full of older brothers, and a best friend, Irene, who possesses all the beauty and grace she lacks. 

What Grace does possess is the desire to become a saint. At her father’s urging, she begins to read lives of the saints and tries to fashion her life after them. Admittedly, this isn’t always easy. She is starting high school and becomes the favorite target of Sister Immaculata, the much-feared Latin teacher. She also becomes friends with two young men – Jimmy Sullivan and Tom Buckley, one who she dreams of being with, and one who dreams of being with her.

The novel follows Grace and her friends from 1972 – 1980, when she is studying to be a teacher in college. This was a turbulent decade when many of the world’s morals were changing. Grace struggles to keep her virtue and her resolve to be a saint. Her friends struggle with their choices as well.

Pearl depicts the era well, especially the changes wrought by Roe v. Wade. Two characters in the novels become pregnant and make very different choices. Pearl explores what those choices meant to the character’s future lives.

“Finding Grace” is a long book and not a quick read, but it is worth spending time with and following Grace as she grows into a beautiful young woman. 


  1. My husband (he who has no bias whatsoever) says that although long, it IS a quick read. :)

    1. Haha, I was about to write a comment that would've said the exact same thing!

  2. Yes, I just commented on my own blog. It gets lonely here in the comments section sometimes. ;)

  3. I read through it in 3 days! It read like an action thriller, with tons of cliff-hangers and edge-of-your-seat moments haha! But really it was a great book, and it goes by quickly because the reader wants to know what happens with Grace and the gang.

    1. Favorite son (right this minute)? I think so. ;)