AnneMarie Miller

AnneMarie Miller has received degrees in English and Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. She passionately loves the Catholic Faith, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Francis of Assisi. In August 2013, she was blessed to marry her incredible husband just before their junior year of college, and the two of them enjoy the adventures of married life in the Midwest. When she's not doing housework, writing, cooking, reading, or playing chess, AnneMarie reflects on life's beauty and random observations at her blog, Sacrifice of Love (http://marianninja.blogspot.com).

Book Reviews by AnneMarie Miller

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The Fragrance Shed by a Violet: Murder in the Medical Center

Lin Wilder’s novel, The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, intertwines medical intrigue, murder, and dysfunctional family relationships into a story that ultimately speaks of love and forgiveness. The story follows Dr. Lindsey McCall, a cardiologist who is imprisoned because she was accused of administering unapproved drugs to her dying mother. Bouncing between the past and the present, The Fragrance Shed by a Violet tells the stories of Lindsey and her older sister, as well as those of the authorities, Lindsey’s childhood friend, and the reporter who is examining the case. Pulling together the li...

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A Theory of Expanded Love

On the surface level, A Theory of Expanded Love, by Caitlin Hicks, is a coming-of-age story. The reader frolics after Annie Shea as she scrambles through life and puberty. Hicks’ lively writing style convinced me that I was not reading a novel written by a grown, modern-day woman, but that I was seeing life through the eyes of twelve-year-old Annie in the 1960s. Unabashedly, Annie tells us about her family’s flaws, strengths, and rituals. The description of her family aptly outlines the novel. Furthermore, the Shea family shows us that this novel is about ourselves as well: “The stained and we...

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Love's Alchemy

The ominous image of John Donne on the book’s cover piqued my interest, and as I opened the book to read Love’s Alchemy, by Bryan Crockett, I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the story. A novel set against a historical backdrop and starring English metaphysical poet John Donne, Love’s Alchemy creates a vivid image of life as a poor writer in 1604. Eager to earn a living, since his career aspirations were dashed by his elopement with Anne More, Donne frequently visits his patroness, Lady Russell. In this, he strives to provide for Anne and their young children. However, late one ev...

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Chateau of Secrets

Tugging the reader between events in 1940 and 2014, Melanie Dobson’s Chateau of Secrets engages, edifies, and entertains. Loosely based on the life of Genevieve Marie Joseph de Saint Pern Menke, Chateau of Secrets tells the story of Gisèle Duchant, a young French woman in the 1940s who resists Hitler’s forces during World War II. Chateau of Secrets also follows the modern-day character of Chloe Sauver, a young schoolteacher whose life is caught up in the political aspirations of her fiancé. The novel reveals Chloe’s search for truth and meaning, and effectively ...

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While You Were Dancing

While you were Dancing, by John-David Cowan, is an interesting look at a young man trying to find meaning, companionship, and his own place, in a dark, changing world. The story begins with a battle between Two Tone, his friend, and a monster of some kind. The narrative follows Two Tone to his apartment and across the city as he battles his demons and tries to reach out for love and hope. While cultural Catholicism is not present in its pages, the book does impart strong Catholic moral themes and the transcendent movement of God is quite apparent, guiding the reader and the main character throughout the story.<...

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The Madonna Files

The Madonna Files, by Steve Ryan, deftly interlaces the lives of men and women across the globe into a tale of love, redemption, Marian devotion, and God’s grace. While a work of fiction, the story pulls historical people and events into the lives of the characters, which enriches the text immensely and educates the reader. While at times the blending of fact and fiction may become blurred and confusing to some readers, the historical depth provides a good introduction to various facets of the Catholic Church throughout history.

The story follows the Catholic priest, Fr. Dan Baronowski, as he se...

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The Spear

The Spear, by Louis de Wohl, is a rich tapestry of historical, fictional, and scriptural threads intertwining to create a gripping story of deceit, love, redemption, and forgiveness. Unlike a merely religious recounting of Christ’s death and the story of St. Longinus, The Spear richly grasps all angles of the world into which Jesus the Nazarene entered. This novel entertains, but also deepens one’s view of the early pagans and Christians in Rome and Jerusalem. The first few perspectives given to the reader are through the viewpoint of pagans, Jews, and revolutionaries. Examining the politic...

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Catholic, Ink.

Be part of the Catholic Literary Revival

Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.