In Name Only (O'Donovan Family, Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 414 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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I had some minor problems with the book. For a Christian (Catholic) novel, there is a lot of emphasis on sexual topics, although nothing is explicit. Some of the terminology was hard to follow. Patsie kept saying "foin" at different times," and it took me a while to realize it was dialect for "fine." "Riding coat" was a condom. Parts of the story was gripping, but other parts dragged. The end could have also been stronger. The ending didn't tie up everything with any better conclusion than if it at ended at other points. In fact, I got the impression that ups and downs and hard times would continue for Caroline and her family. Although this may be realistic, it didn't leave me feeling good about the novel.
The style of writing seemed trite and forced, but once I got used to it, it was easier to get through the story without being distracted by the style. That's the same way when I read books by authors from this historic period, I have to get acclimated to the style before I can enjoy the story.
In Name Only portrays the authentic human battle between flesh and spirit waged on the conscious and subconscious levels not only for the characters but in real world too. Ms. Gable artfully weaves orthodox Catholic teaching on sexual morality into her unique tale and in so doing unfolds the real human drama of life and love. She shows that authentic Catholic sexual mores rather than constrain human sexual expression actually frees and empowers man and woman to transcend the primordial battle of concupiscence by fully integrating flesh and spirit into one harmonious life-affirming, life-giving whole.
In the end, Ms Gable didn't let me down. Caroline and David do marry even if at first IN Name Only. Along the way I felt their pain, joy, frustration, confusion, insight, growth and delight as each in his/her own way gained mastery over self by moving from selfish vanity and/or lust to mutual sacrificial self-giving love through their daily encounters whether they be confrontations, misunderstandings, disappointments or mutual respect and support.
Ms. Gable drew me into the lives of her characters not only because of her keen appreciation of human nature, but particularly her ability to capture in vivid detail its depths, nuances and changeable turns in the development of the emotional, spiritual, psychological and physical aspects of the characters' distinctive,yet complementary gender differences. Complementary gender differences that uniquely capacitate man and woman to be united as one and to love each other for a life-time without counting the cost.