Book Review: Stay with Me by Carolyn Astfalk
When I decided to read and review Carolyn Astfalk’s novel Stay with Me, I had heard beforehand that it was really good. In my opinion, this inspirational Christian romance is better than good. It’s fantastic! It is filled with everything that makes a story appealing – romance, suspense, action, and humor. It is a fast-moving, extremely addictive book that you won’t want to put down. The characters are so real that I instantly felt connected to them and could easily relate to their life situations and empathize with their dilemmas.
Before I go any further, allow me to give you just a taste of what I am talking about. Twenty-four year-old Rebecca, raised in a strict, fundamentalist faith, finally moves out of her father’s home into an apartment of her own, away from her domineering father. She accidentally meets Chris, an attractive and congenial young man who asks her out on a date. As she gets to know Chris, a Catholic convert, she is attracted by his virtues, his strong morals, and the authentic way in which he lives his life. Chris loves Rebecca and her innocence, but must learn to deal with the emotional wounds she endures from her parents and an attempted assault during her adolescence. Father John, a young Catholic priest and mutual friend, advises them on the problems they face. Will these obstacles keep them apart or draw them together?
Astfalk’s novel Stay with Me is based on Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body and deals with a couple who are not perfect, but who are attempting to live out the theology of the body principles in their lives, despite their human frailties. To cut some of the tension, from time to time, the author focuses on Rebecca’s sister, Abby; an outspoken character who freely announces to the world whatever is on her mind. There are also predicaments that are humorous and still others that keep you on the edge of your seat. Stay with Me is one of the most entertaining and inspiring contemporary novels I have read. I wanted to keep reading after I turned the last page. I am definitely looking forward to reading the sequel.