4 out of 4 stars
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In Always Before Me, John Servant explores a variety of individuals in varied situations through a common ground. Throughout the whole book, we focus on three main characters: Father Paul, Father Anthony, and Matt. Each of these individuals face time in prison and between being guilty and being falsely accused, each character explores their relationship with Christianity. As the book title evokes, each complication always before the characters is dealt with in different manors, but with the same faith-based intentions. With each character facing a multitude of trials to achieve the end goal of salvation, Servant explores the harsh reality of everyday individuals. All three men are accused of sexual misconduct and represent different pathways to healing through religion.
While being accused of sexual misconduct and having the accusation left as a stain on one’s reputation is a concerning matter within the world, it is not a common one. Yet, Servant makes this book more than relatable. With the common themes of dealing with failure, damned dreams, and lost hope, the average reader can understand each character and their thought process. Along with the ability to connect to the characters, Servant opens up ways to deal with our loss, expand our understanding, and kindle with God.
What I liked about Always Before Me, is that the story is not just provided through fictional characters, but is supported by the characters' sermons. These sermons are heavily based on the Bible and provided to embrace the healing needed for the stories given scenarios. These sermons were well thought out, short, and necessary for the growth on how to deal with overcoming hurdles.
This book is already intended for a Christian audience; however, I would heavily recommend this book to anyone curious about the religion or maybe new to Catholicism. Servant has a way of exploring sought-out topics and explaining the Catholic view through simple and accurate methods. There are even moments where he will expand the definition or context, such as when he provides further detail as to what a rosary does and how to use it.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. As the characters are facing similar accusations I was surprised at the authenticity each individual had. In a storyline such as this, it would be easy to give in to repetition or becoming mundane. However, the whole time I was reading I was becoming enlightened with new outlooks and religious morals. Servant has a way to draw in the reader. Always Before Me is professionally edited.
Always Before Me
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