I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book. Here’s what I’ve been reading for the past month:
A Place Called Saturday by Mary Astor
Synopsis: In 1968, when abortion was still a matter of controversy, Mary Astor wrote this heartwarming story of Cora, who was raped by a young, unknown assailant and becomes pregnant. Go with Cora as she faces the obstacles that will affect her life, her husband’s, and that of her unborn child. (from the inside flap)
My review: This has been on my book shelf for a while and I listed it as one of my “To Read” books several months ago. I finally picked it up and when I did, I couldn’t stop. It’s the late 60’s. Cora is a young married woman. She and her husband have been trying to conceive for a couple of years. One hot summer afternoon, she is raped and a few months later she discovers she is pregnant. She realizes that the baby is likely the product of the rape, but she refuses to consider abortion, which at the time many doctors would perform in the case of rape. This makes the relationship with her husband difficult because he doesn’t think he can raise his wife’s rapist’s child. Cora reminds him that the child is 50% hers. The author, Mary Astor, knows the topic of abortion well because she had at least two abortions in her early career (even if an actress was married, she would be pressured into having an abortion because of career advancement). Astor later became Catholic and sincerely regretted her abortions. I suspect that Astor created Cora partly to repent her two abortions. The writing is a bit stilted at times, but overall, a great read. 4.5 out of 5.
Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship
On Sale on Kindle for only .99!
Synopsis: Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship is a celebration of faith and enduring love. This compilation contains 12 courtship/dating stories which will inspire, captivate and entertain readers. Some of the stories include: a widow with eight children meets a widower with six children; a man asks his live-in girlfriend “what if we stopped having sex,” and is greeted with tears of joy; an atheist falls in love with her Catholic Prince Charming; a woman prays to God for a husband and years later finds herself falling in love with a seminarian; a sailor prays a novena to marry the right girl. What these and all the stories illustrate is that God is the ideal matchmaker.
My review: This is a book I edited and published eight years ago with the help of my friend, Kathy. It’s a beautiful collection of courtship stories and is only .99 on Kindle (the entire month of February.)
Tears in a Bottle by Sylvia Bambola
Synopsis: Becky Taylor, a young woman burdened by great expectations, is lying on a cold recovery table in an abortion clinic when she hears a man’s voice, then gunshots. She holds her breath and lies perfectly still behind the curtain. When the gunman is finished, Becky is the only one left alive in the clinic. This act brings together two strangers who both seek answers to life’s most wrenching questions, mainly: Are God’s love and mercy big enough for every sin? The answer transforms multiple lives.
My review: This is an excellent pro-life novel (although at least one of the antagonists is rather one-dimensional (womanizing and alcoholic) with a compelling story and believable story line, especially in 2019. The characters are generic Christian (not Catholic). I bought this book 20 years ago at a pro-life conference. I’ve read it numerous times and read it again recently. It’s surprising that this book was originally written 20 years ago. It is especially pertinent in light of the State of New York’s recent decision to allow abortion up to the moment of birth. Disturbing, sad and enlightening, this story is a must-read for those in the pro-life movement. Highly recommend! 4.5 out of 5 stars.