Monday, July 25, 2011
Edited By Ellen Gable Hrkach and Kathy Cassanto, released June 15, 2011, Full Quiver Publishing, Pakenham, Ontario, 152 pages, Paperback $9.99, Kindle: $2.99 (Amazon).
Reviewed by JEAN M. HEIMANN, freelance writer, wife and mother, graduate student in theology, retired educator, psychologist, and oblate with the Community of St. John.
Come My Beloved is a beautiful collection of twelve true inspiring stories of Catholic courtship. Ellen Gable Hrkach and Kathy Cassanto have interviewed married couples of all ages, from a variety of locales and backgrounds, and asked both the husband and wife to recount the details of their courtship. The stories, presented from both the male and the female perspective, are told in an intimate, conversational style, which easily arouse the reader’s interest and make it a quick, interesting read. What I found most appealing was that each story was very unique, and no two stories were alike. Each has its own theme, its own storyline, and its own unique characters.
While the stories presented are romantic in nature, the challenges each couple face and deal with are also discussed, which adds to the excitement of each story. The struggles vary. There is one story in which the woman is totally uninterested in the man initially, but his persistence pays off. Another story depicts the obstacles a previously married couple faces. Yet another focuses on the difficulties of a long-distance relationship.
Come My Beloved captured my heart, as it depicts stories of enduring love, based on Catholic teaching and Catholic values. Each couple honestly shares their love for God and how their relationship is based on that love. Each of the stories is faith-building, uplifting, inspirational, humorous, romantic, and hopeful. Each one left me with a sense of peace, joy, and hopefulness about the vocation of Catholic marriage.
I believe Come My Beloved is a valuable treasure for those who are discerning the vocation of marriage and it is uplifting reading for all those who enjoy a good love story.
~ © Jean M. Heimann, July, 2011