Those who missed yesterday's big announcement of the novel's launch can skip to that post here.
I am particularly grateful to those who have begun posting editorial reviews of the novel on their own blogs and review sites.
Earlier this week, Ellen Gable Hrkach, author of the excellent novel Emily's Hope, reviewed my book for Catholic Fire. In part:
Passport illustrates the growth of a man who strives to do the right thing, and shows that the struggle to live chastity does not end with marriage; it is simply lived out in a different way. Stan eventually comes to the realization that only in dying to ourselves can we truly love others and find meaningful happiness. It was a joy to read such an uplifting story in this day and age where self-centeredness is the norm.
I most strongly recommend Passport to Catholics in their twenties and thirties, although all people would find the story interesting. There are some romantic elements in the book but this is decidedly not a romance novel in any traditional sense. As a woman, I enjoyed reading a story from a man’s perspective, especially the inner workings of a man’s mind regarding chastity and natural family planning.
I would highly recommend Passport as it is easy to read, well-written and the characters are rich and well-developed. Blunt’s portrayal of family life is especially real, down to earth and believable.
And Jeff Culbreath ran an excellent review today at Stony Creek Digest. In part:
“Passport” is written by a man who quite obviously has traveled some distance himself on the el camino real, the road to sanctity, and because of this he is able to capture the silent workings of grace in the lives of his characters in a way that is beyond the reach of most writers. The main characters - both of them - are faced with agonizing and frankly humiliating choices. Even I, a supposedly seasoned Catholic, found myself longing for the characters to take the easy way out, the way of the world and respectability and happily-ever-after. Although there is plenty of romance (hence the attraction for lady readers), the Catholic life is not romanticized or sugar-coated. In fact the book vindicates one of the primary reasons for my own conversion, the realization that Catholicism is a religion thoroughly obsessed with reality, no matter how messy, no matter the cost, and often the
cost is high indeed.
The personalities of the book were meaningful to me. The central character is a man much like myself - in some respects a better man, and in others, perhaps less so. Stan Eigenbauer’s story was often uncomfortable reading due to its honesty and familiarity. The other characters had remarkable similarities to people I know, or have known in the past.
This is a story about an ordinary man who does an extraordinary thing: he takes up his cross and follows Christ. Despite his hopes of breaking free, he is nevertheless determined to go all the way if he must. In the process, he takes a few others with him - even those who don’t realize they are going - and discovers a new freedom that is beyond anything he has ever experienced.
Thanks again to all who have been reading it and sharing their reactions.