Carolyn Astfalk

Carolyn Astfalk is a graduate of Duquesne University. She served as communications director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference for ten years before resigning to stay home with her four children. In 2010, she tried National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) on a lark and produced a first draft of a novel. Since then she has written four novels, each in varying stages of completion. She is a member of the
Catholic Writers Guild and Pennwriters and has had articles published in Lay Witness and New Covenant magazines as well as a monthly  column that was printed in Pennsylvania’s diocesan newspapers. Her debut novel, Stay With Me, will be published by Full Quiver Publishing on October 1, 2015. http://carolynastfalk.com

Book Reviews by Carolyn Astfalk

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The Truth and Nothing But Lies

The Truth and Nothing But Lies by Cheri Vausé is exactly what the title suggests: a web of deceit obscuring underlying truth.

The novel begins with a string of character introductions likely to leave you confused. Stick with it, and the twisted connections will be revealed. Six chapters in, you’ll meet the protagonist, FBI Special Agent in Charge Grantham “Grant” Greene (a name remarkably similar to classic Catholic author Graham Greene).

We meet Grant as his dissatisfaction with both his high-pressure job and the absence of a committed romantic relationship reach th...

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The Three Most Wanted (I Am Margaret)

The Three Most Wanted, Book Two in the dystopian I Am Margaret series by Corinna Turner, picks up where Book One left off. Margaret (Margo) Verrall and Jonathan Revan have been sprung from the EuroGov facility by Bane Marsden, Margo’s fiancé and Jon’s friend. With help from a resistance cell (a subversive group with terroristic tendencies), they’ve freed dozens of captives, taking down a helicopter and at least one EuroGov employee in the process.

Margo, Bane, and Jon have stirred the proverbial pot, first with Margo’s exposé of the Sorting process that l...

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Wounded Healer

Jay Gage‘s Wounded Healer (which could alternately be called Healed Wounder, although that’s not nearly as mellifluous), is a love story, although not a conventional romance. It is the love story of God and man, in which God waits patiently for an opportunity to reveal Himself to his beloved.

Gabe Flynn is an emergency room surgeon gliding through a superficial life. He uses his profession to impress women and obtain material possessions like his BMW and upscale apartment. He has become disconnected from his family (and their faith), especially since his father’s death. Learning that...

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I Am Margaret

What does it mean to be a Catholic when to be faithful means certain death? I Am Margaret, the first book in a four-part dystopian series by Corinna Turner, provides one such scenario.

At eighteen-years-old, Margaret Verrall, is scheduled for her “sorting,” a process by which the able are separated from the feeble. Those who pass the physical and academic tests administered by the EuroBloc Genetics Department may register and go on to live in relative freedom, having their compulsory contraceptive implants temporarily removed so that they may have a maximum of two children, so long as they...

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How Far Can You Go?

I purchased a used copy David Lodge's How Far Can You Go? in Penguin paperback format. My edition of the novel, written in 1980 (also published as Souls and Bodies), is printed in a near-microscopic font size. At first, I attributed my propensity to set the book down for weeks at a time to that minor annoyance. Having finished the book, I think the snail's pace at which I creeped through the narrative had less to do with the fine print and more to do with my discomfit with the book.

The cover boasts an endorsement by classic Catholic author Graham Greene, whose The Power and the G...

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