Catholic Book Reviews · Kids & Teens Books · Pauline Books & Media · Uncategorized

Book Review Wednesday – A Single Bead

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Mother Cabrini had such a big heart and a beautiful and determined faith. She had so many hardships to overcome, and she is such a great example for me, personally – to never give up! Love her story. Check it out.

Years ago I wrote this review. But – when I moved my blog here, I lost so many great posts, but I decided to repost these. I’ve taken out all irrelevant text. And I’m hopeful you will still like the review. I have two copies of this book at all times, because I have lent many to others and none have come back. I’m not complaining. It’s a fantastic book and touched me so much. Sigh.

Now, here’s my book review.

512x8R9hD4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A Single Bead, by Stephanie Engleman, is indeed a very powerful book. Written with teen girls in mind, I feel it is appropriate for the whole family, age 6th grade and up.  The story is about losing hope and faith, and finding a way back to the Church through a series of miraculous events.

The death of a parent or grandparent is devastating, to say the least. Kate, the leading character in the book, finds herself the target of her mother’s anger and depression since a plane crash took her grandmother’s life a year earlier. While Kate is at the Memorial marking the First Anniversary of her grandmother’s death, she feels the need to walk away from her family and, in her own words, 

“I keep walking toward the trees, and it’s almost like I’m being drawn by some kind of invisible force. Stooping down to push the flowers aside, I discover a small, silver bead, and my heart flutters. I have to hold it, touch it-feel the ridges of the letters imprinted on three sides, and run my nail along the cross on the fourth. Everything I am zones into that tiny, little bead. . . . It’s just a little fragment of a piece of jewelry, right? But it’s not. It’s a bead from Grandma’s rosary. And not just any bead. My bead.”

Through a series of miraculous events, Kate talks to and meets other people who find her grandmother’s beads. Through their stories, which are true miracles, not only Kate, but her father (a non-Catholic) are growing closer to God. One of my favorite devotions is praying the Rosary and I am thrilled that the power of the Rosary is woven into this story.  Kate realizes how blessed she is to have a faith-filled family, and turns to the Rosary to calm and focus herself on the tasks ahead.
I think what appealed to me most was the honesty in the story. My mother suffered from mental illnesses and much of what this character feels, I have felt. Honesty may seem like an odd word here, but it is so important to me that the book acknowledges that people fall away from the Church and that they come back…. that we question our faith, and get great answers from the history and Tradition of Catholicsm… that people with mental illness can get help, and so can the people their illness affects…. That prayer REALLY comforts, inspires, and heals. In short, PRAYER WORKS!
Additionally, I can not tell you what it meant to me when I came into the Catholic Church and acknowledged our Blessed Mother Mary as MY Mother. I did not feel the loss I had for decades, and it was freeing. This book touched my heart, and lifted me up. For that I am so grateful.

Bravo to Mrs. Engleman. She is clearly a fantastic story-teller and I can not wait to read more of her books. If you want to know more about Stephanie Engleman, please check out her website — Stephanie Engleman.
 
As always, thank you Cathy @Pauline Books & Media, for sending me this book so that I could write a review.  I can tell you all, I have not met a Pauline Book that I did not love. I’m so blessed.
 
I hope you enjoyed this review.
Hugs & Blessings,
Emily

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