Friday, October 16, 2009

Mother's Love

Reviewed by Phee Paradise
Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman

Alisa will do anything for her son. But what she thinks he needs is not as simple as a favorite meal or a ride to the mall. In fact, it is morally, ethically and legally questionable. Alisa convinces herself that Kurt deserves her support so God won’t blame her for what she does. For me, that’s the problem with Leaving Yesterday.

It’s ultimately a book about redemption, but most of the story is about the actions that require redemption. Alisa makes a lot of bad choices and justifies them by her love for her son. Meanwhile she works at a church and does grief counseling. So on top of distorted love and poor judgment, she is a hypocrite. Surprisingly, this bothers her more than her other “mistakes.” I didn’t like her at all. In fact, when she finally made the right decision, I didn’t believe she would follow through.

Yet, the book was compelling and I sped through it to see how it would end. There are several interesting characters and the situations are believable. There is a lot of back-story and at first I thought I must be reading the second in a series. Cushman introduces people and past situations casually, as Alisa knows them, which is a bit confusing, but actually very clever. It creates a natural and believable narrative.

You might like Alisa, or at least identify with her. Even if you don’t, the book is worth reading for the fresh approach to temptation.

Pros: A good depiction of a struggle with temptation and resulting ripples in many lives. The story is well told and has a good ending.

Cons: A little too much of the book is devoted to the temptations and sins, with little help from the Christian community.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Leaving Yesterday

Bethany House (October 1, 2009)


Kathryn Cushman


I graduated from Samford University with a degree in pharmacy, but I’ve known all my life that I wanted to write a novel “some day”. For me, “some day” came about five years ago, when I started writing and never looked back.

My third attempt became my first published novel.

A Promise to Remember was a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book-of-the-Year in the Women’s Fiction category, and Waiting for Daybreak was a finalist in Women’s Fiction for the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. Leaving Yesterday just arrived on scene and I’m very excited about it!

On the homefront, I’ve been married to the wonderful and handsome Lee for over twenty years now, and our two daughters are currently braving the worlds of elementary and high school. We’ve lived in Santa Barbara for the last seventeen years. When I’m not writing or reading or braving seventy degree holidays, you’ll find me watching the younger daughter play softball, or the older daughter building amazing high school theater sets


Alisa Stewart feels like she's lost two sons: her eldest to a terrible tragedy and her youngest, Kurt, to a life ruined by addiction. But now Kurt has checked himself into rehab and found a healing faith that seems real. It's like he's been raised from the dead.

But then a detective arrives at Alisa's door asking questions about a murder--the death of a drug dealer before Kurt entered rehab. Alisa fears losing her son again, and when she finds evidence linking him to the killing, she destroys it. Her boy is different now. He's changed and deserves a second chance.

But when another man is charged with the crime, Alisa finds herself facing an impossible choice: be silent and keep her son or give up everything for the truth.

To read the first chapter of Leaving Yesterday, click HERE

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