Wow, this was one of those books that I couldn’t put down once I started it! It was really that good! The story is told from two perspectives: one that of a young priest, who never expected that one evening a chance would present itself to save a young girl’s life; and a young girl, who found herself sitting in a parking lot in an unfamiliar church with her baby in her arms and thinking about ending her life simply because she saw no other way out. Abby’s household is deeply religious, more resembling a sect to be truthful. A strong patriarch of the family, Abby’s father, doesn’t think twice about using his belt whenever his daughters dare to defy his authority. Abby’s mother seems to worry more about setting the table on time and attending yet another religious meeting that about her own children’s well-being. The atmosphere in the house was the most depressing as it is; so when Abby announced the news that she got pregnant during the only time that she’d been with a boy the family goes ballistic. I won’t reveal all the details of the plot but the main idea – the perverted views on Christianity that are unfortunately very much alive today – is dominant throughout this highly compelling narration. Desperation, feeling of inevitability, mistrust, hatred towards the closest people who attack instead of protecting their own child is palpable in every chapter. I got so emotionally attached to Abby that I rooted for her plight to end from page one. This story is so relevant today that it really is a must-read. Highly recommended!
~ "I'm a lot like you so please, hello, I'm here, I'm waiting - I think I'd be good for you and you'd be good for me" ~ or so go the lyrics of a popular rock song. The lyrics are a heart cry. They present a cry to be noticed, recognized, and valued for one's worth in a relationship. In her book, Twisted Faith, Victoria Schwimley, tells the story of a teenage girl named Abigail. Abigail is both noticed and recognized by those who know her, but few see here as able to bring anything of worth into a relationship. To her parents she is the unruly child in need of discipline. To her peers at school she is the strange kid who dresses in unflattering attire. It is not a great leap to imagine how her treatment leads her into the desperate situation in which she finds herself. I don't want to reveal more of the plot for fear of producing spoilers.
Mrs. Schwimley does an excellent job at weaving her tale. It is one that is both plausible and deniable. Surely there are no people that act as those in this book - then again - maybe there are such people(terrifying thought). The story is told from the perspective of both Abigail and a local pastor named David. The chapters alternate between the viewpoints of both.
You will find yourself disagreeing with nearly everyone in this book at some point(Abigail included). There are just so many bad decisions made by so many people in this tale. However, the book should lead us all towards the same conclusion. We should show more compassion and grace to others. This is not a perfect book, but have any perfect books been written in the past five years? It is however, an excellent book and well worth a five star rating. Just like Abigail, this book has value and you will be getting a deal on the value of this book for $2.99. Well worth the price and well worth the read.
From the beginning I was hooked, wondering what would happen to Abby and David. The chapters alternate between the voices of those two characters in a way that's interesting and suspenseful. The villain (s) are believable and the story plausible. While the novel tackles some serious problems, it isn’t heavy-handed, especially given Abby’s wry sense of humor. I won’t give away any more of the plot, but rest assured there are some good twists and turns. Truly enjoyed this book!
Outstanding!! Started this audiobook late in the evening and spoiled my next day by listening through the night. It immediately held my attention, but more importantly truly brought tears to my eyes and made me feel emotions such as love and anger that just aren't typical responses to a book. For one, I have a close friend that went through a similar ordeal, although not as extreme, at the age of 19. Secondly, I feel the message is very important to Christians. For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If sinners weren't allowed in church, not a one of us would be eligible to fill a pew on Sunday morning. While the extremists in this novel are extreme, as a Christian I've encountered these toxic people in the church and know just how much destruction they leave in their wake. Schwimley does a beautiful job of teaching this lesson, and demonstrating the difference between true Christians and the extremist nuts that are out there, also using this story to show what kind of damage can be done - even with the "best" of intentions. Left me so thankful that I'm forgiven for all of my sins, and that they have been separated from me as far as the east is from the west. No man can condemn me for the sins He's forgiven. Highly recommend to adult, men and women. Material might be a bit much for younger teens, so suggest parents screen before handing off to a younger girl. But should be appropriate for most older teens. ***This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.***
This is the continuation of Captured Faith; however, it’s a great book to read as a stand-alone. Pastor David has since moved on from his position as the youth pastor to become Pastor at New Hope Christian Church, a church in dire need of an upgrade of both its building and congregation. Shortly after accepting the position Pastor Dave received a call from a young mother in distress. As the conversation progressed, readers hear more of Abby’s horrific story. The characters are introduced excellently as readers are brought into the story. I felt as though I met each character and went through this emotional night with them. I appreciated how the congregation came together to help Abby and gained a renewed sense of faith for themselves.
I was hooked when I read the first chapter. I found it extremely hard to stop, and I recommend this to all readers. I should also let you know my 12 year old listened with me and couldn’t wait to get back to it until we were finished. I listened to the audiobook and felt Kelly and Conner did an excellent job; even better than I could have done. Both voices were perfect for their character. I loved this book and rated it with five stars.
Sixteen-year old Abigail Stein’s parents belong to an extreme fundamentalist Christian sect that embraces corporal punishment, extreme spiritual cleansing and, of course, chastity.
When Abigail becomes pregnant, her parents subject her to all of the above, and brow-beat her into agreeing to allow them to adopt her baby and raise it as their own. Abigail, in despair, decides to flee with the infant and is considering killing the baby and herself in order to escape a life that has no hope and no freedom.
The book begins with Abigail’s tortured telephone call to Pastor David Owens, outside of whose church she has parked. Schwimley deftly alternates between the Pastor’s and Abigail’s points of view as she gradually lifts the veil on the teen’s tragic story.
When does physical and emotional cruelty trump freedom of religion? And, when does self-preservation take precedence over the commandment to “Honor thy father and thy mother?” These are some of the questions posed by Author Victoria Schwimley in Twisted Faith. This is a thought-provoking novel, which offers the reader a glimpse into what can happen when the practice of a faith - whether Christian or otherwise - is taken to an extreme.
I “read” the audiobook edition of this novel and enjoyed the nuanced and professional performance of narrators Conner Goff and Kelley Mack, who handed off smoothly to each other as the point of view shifted between David and Abigail.
The main characters of this novel Pastor David Owens of the New Hope Christian Church received a phone call from Abby Stein, who is talking about taking her life and that of her daughter. Pastor David is able to show Abby all that she has to live for.
The reason why Abby had come to this point in her life was because of the way her family treated her. In reading this emotional story I thought Abby’s parents were cruel and very mean in how they treated Abby.
One of my favorite lines from the story. “The pull to interpret the Bible to suit one’s own needs is strong – even if the faith is a bit twisted.”
Realizing that we all have the power in our words to make a difference to save someone’s life. I really liked the surprise ending. I have given this one a solid 5 star rating. Looking forward to reading more by Victoria Schwimley.
Abby turns up outside David's parish and tells him she is suicidal. She then tells him her story about being in a religious family and becoming pregnant in school and outside marriage. A gripping start that captivated my attention. I enjoyed the fact that it gives you David and Abbys perspectives, drafting you deeper into the storyline and ensuring you don't miss anything. I normally start writing about the book as reading but I have been completely drawn in and only now writing notes at 60% This book tells the story of something that could easily be true life. It shows the most extreme of religion, teenage romance, Love of a sister and teenage pregnancy. An absolute page Turner from the beginning this story is a roller-coaster of emotions that has kept me on edge throughout Abby is such a strong character it was like I could feel her pain, struggles, turmoil and rare moments of happiness Beautifully tragic Highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone!! Such a highly talented author and I am looking forward to seeing more of her work!! Well done for such a success xx
4.5 stars I was totally and completely engaged in this book, and I'm an atheist. I have to admit There were a few places where my attitudes towards religion and the author's clashed. I do not believe that sex before marriage is a bad thing. Had I married the man I gave my virginity to, I would never have known real love, or sexual pleasure. But I try and check my prejudices at the door, I base my reviews on how engaging the book is and how well the author achieved what they set out to accomplish, and in both cases the writer did a great job.
This is a powerful tale about a 16 year old fundamentalist Christian, Abby, who unknowingly drinks a spiked punch at a party, has sex for the first time, and gets pregnant. The author does a wonderful job of portraying the abuse she endures at the hands of her crazy evangelical parents, and of the personal transformations this 16 year-old goes through as the life within her grows. The ability of the author to get inside a teenager’s brain is remarkable. She really nails the scorn of the gossipmongers at school, and the well meaning but clueless best friend. The author’s efforts at making the boyfriend into a good guy required a little more stretch of the imagination, but I went along with it. Without giving anything away, my only problem with this book was a certain deus-ex-machina quality to the ending. A very significant piece of information is withheld from Abby in order for the outcome to be a surprise, but the vehicles that the author puts in place in order for that to happen are not quite believable - it would have been fitting had they been as realistic as the rest of the book. The strength of this story lies in its realism, and in the very courageous way which the author approaches the controversies of religion, birth control, and teenage motherhood. I'm not saying it shouldn't have had the happy ending, it's just the details that needed to be work out.
Twisted Faith is not something I would ordinarily pick up on my own, but a like-minded friend recommended it, so I decided to give it a shot. I was surprised that it hooked me so quickly and was pretty much impossible to put down until I finished. I found the protagonist, Abby, to be very relatable, and all of the other characters were strong and helped push the story forward quickly. As for the situation of the teen pregnancy and the strict household, it was entirely believable—eerily so. I’ve never been subjected to such intense discipline (thankfully!) but I didn’t have a bit of trouble believing everything I read. Normally, a book like this might be too depressing for me, but I had such hope that Abby would find a way out of her awful predicament that I had to keep reading to find out. All of the characters awakened intense emotions in me that made it a very powerful read. Also, should mention—I’m not a Christian, which is why I normally steer clear of books like this, but at no time during my reading of it did I feel preached at or put off. This was truly a study in how far overboard people can go with their faith and the things they justify doing in the name of their religion. A disturbing book for this reason, but a great read and I am very glad I decided to give it a chance.