Book Review: Leaving Yesterday

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When Borders was closing, I picked up a few Christian fiction books for only a few dollars each.  It’s so hard to find good Christian fiction…and I figured a reduced price would be a good way to check out some new titles and authors.

Which is how I came across Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman.  In this novel, the main character is faced with some serious choices.

“Her prodigal son has returned!  But has he truly left the past behind? … his old life refuses to stay buried, Alisa finds herself facing an impossible choice: keep silent and keep her son…or risk everything in a quest for the truth.” (From the back of the book)

As a piece of fiction, I must honestly say that I didn’t love it.  It moved at a fairly slow pace and one of the characters was (in my opinion) very poorly written.  However, there was one aspect of the book that I absolutely loved.

Alisa, the main character, is married with three children.  She and her husband are going through some serious marriage issues and decided they would separate.  While Alisa is a believer, her husband is not, and at one point in the book he brings up that he might file for divorce.

Every time the marriage came up in the book, I somewhat cringed.  Oh boy….another source that promotes divorce among believers. To make things worse, another man was introduced.  He seemed to be everything Alisa’s husband was not…a good listener, someone who truly “got” her and someone who was interested in her life.  I hoped it wasn’t true…but I figured with the way the story was going, the characters would definitely end up divorced and Alisa might end up with the other man.

Imagine my surprise when in two separate scenes, the author described Alisa’s thoughts about this second man…and it was described as a battle.  Alisa was attracted to the man but she knew her feelings were wrong.  She couldn’t entertain such thoughts.  She must tell him to leave.  And yet it was a struggle.

How often do you see such thoughts portrayed as a battle against sin?  It seems like everywhere I look, whether it’s books or movies or songs, the message is that “true love” should conquer regardless of right or wrong.  It’s okay to divorce or break up, etc, as long as it is right for you, or it makes you happier, or you are really in love with the new person.  Even in Christian media!

I was so pleasantly surprised to see a book take a firm stand on marriage and the lifetime commitment it is…for better or for worse…as long as the husband and wife both shall live.  So refreshing!

Even though I didn’t love the entire story line (and, I might add…the marriage aspect was only a side plot), it is a decent piece of Christian fiction.  And it is phenomenal in upholding what real marriage is!



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