- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Catholic Teen Books; 1 edition (July 2, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0997971827
- ISBN-13: 978-0997971828
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Secrets: Visible & Invisible Paperback – July 2, 2018
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Dystopian is not my favorite genre, but Corinna Turner’s “The Underappreciated Virtues of Rusty Old Bicycles” is an intriguing title. This suspenseful story gripped me and made me anxious for young Margo and Bane, who just wanted to have a picnic and now are in danger from government soldiers hunting subversives.
In “Recreation” by Cynthia T. Toney, Elijah is a realistic teen and stole my heart as the story unfolds and he befriends an elderly neighbor in need of assistance. The ending is one of the most perfect ever! My favorite in the collection.
Theresa Linden’s “The Portrait of the Firestarters” is about a youth group and a painting that has changed each time they meet is mysterious and compelling. An effective device to show how important it is not to judge on appearances.
A gritty short historical piece by Susan Peek with a kapow title “On the Brink of Hell” puts the reader in the middle of the scene with the battle-injured Dario. A powerful experience of the power of redemption. Bravo!
I love the tone of T. M. Gaouette’s “Sister Francesca.” It feels like a legend, even though the setting is modern.
The main character in Carolyn Astfalk’s “Behind the Wheel” is so human and so endearing. As a Mom I alternately wanted to shake the MC and hug him. A poignant coming-of-age story!
Leslea Wahl’s “More Precious Than Gold” is a fun mystery, and readers of The Perfect Blindside and An Unexpected Role will enjoy seeing those characters together in this story.
Mark Hart in the forward to this collection states:
“We call Him Savior, Teacher, Wonder Worker, and Lord. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Bread of Life and the Light of the World. He is the Messiah, the Promised One, the Divine Physician…the Good Shepherd.
Jesus Christ is all of these titles and an endless list of more. Yet, there is one title that I’ve rarely – if ever – heard used to describe Jesus of Nazareth, and I feel it is a glaringly myopic omission on our part.
Almost never have I heard Jesus Christ described as “Master Storyteller,” though He most certainly was.”
And many of the contributors to this collections in their own way imitate Christ and are master story tellers in our own generation. I have a great deal of respect for the seven authors who contributed to this series. And even more so after reading their pieces in this collection.
T. M. Gaouette
Cynthia T. Toney
In this collection we have one short story from each of the contributors. Some contain characters you can encounter in novels by the authors. One combines characters for different novels from the author.
The Underappreciated Virtues Of Rusty Old Bicycles - Corinna Turner
Recreation - Cynthia T. Toney
The Portrait Of The Fire Starters - Theresa Linden
On The Brink Of Hell - Susan Peek
Sister Francesca - T.M. Gaouette
Behind The Wheel - Carolyn Astfalk
More Precious Than Gold - Leslea Wahl
As mentioned this is a great collection of short stories. I really could not pick a favorite or least favorite. Each story is very well written. And I thoroughly enjoyed them all. And here is a summary of each story.
The Underappreciated Virtues Of Rusty Old Bicycles
This story is a peek at Bane and Margo before the sorting in I am Margaret. It highlights the strength of their friendship. The risks in day to day life in a totalitarian regime. It also has some great characters that we do not encounter again in the books. There is a very interesting twist in this story.
This story took me by surprise. It is a story of service and giving. It is a story about friendship. It is the friendship of Elijah and Darrell-teens of African and Vietnamese heritage-growing up in the south. It is the story of seeing a need, and stepping up to do something about it. It also reminds readers that not all things are as they appear.
The Portrait Of The Fire Starters
With four young adult novels and one adult novel centered around the West Brothers, Theresa Linden returns to tell a story about the youth group from church that meets at the high school. I believe this story falls between Roland West Loner and Life-Changing Love. If you are fans of the books this story sheds some new light on several of the characters from the series. It speaks to questions about how we see ourselves, and how others see us. And it will likely pull on your heartstrings.
On The Brink Of Hell
This story jumps back to the 16th Century in Italy. It is the story, of a soldier wounded in battle. Dario has done much he is not proud of. And after being severely injured in battle, this story tells of his treatment. He's also reflecting on past events, fading in and out of memories, while enduring present-day pain in the hospital.
I have read the three published novels by T.M. Gaouette. And I enjoyed them a lot. But this story is something very different. It has a touch of the mystical, and a touch of the contemplative in it. It reminds me a lot of some of the stories by J.F. Powers. It is the story of a young man's love; love that brings out the best in a person, even if it does not become a relationship. Of the authors I had read before this story was the biggest surprise.
Behind The Wheel
I have been hearing about the writings of Carolyn Astfalk and I have picked up three of her novels. I just have not got around to reading them. But after reading this short story the novel Rightfully Ours, with the same characters jumped to the top of my reading list. This story is about taking a risk and breaking rules. But when the moment comes, will character come through or will it self-preservation win out? It was a great story and I look forward to reading more by Astfalk.
More Precious Than Gold
I have read both published novels by Wahl, and they are excellent. This book takes the couples from both of those stories and drops them into a new environment together. From The Perfect Blindside we have Jake and Sophie. And from An Unexpected Role we have Josie and Ryan. But in this story, they are volunteering for a week at a Christian camp for disadvantaged children. It's a story of being stuck between a rock and a hard place; or is it a hard case. A wonderful story, and great conclusion to the collection.
For fans of any of the authors in this collection, you need to pick this book up to read their contribution. For readers who love remarkable stories, this collection is for you also. And if you want some great reads that are clean Catholic fiction this is the book for you. This anthology is Amazing!