REVIEW: Heart-wrenching and Gut Twisting. I just finished Howard Be Thy Name by JoAnn Stevelos last night and I can’t get it out of my head. It is a book based on a true story about the abuse of human beings in the Catholic church. It is not an easy book to read but it is one that screams to be read.
I loved the history of the families and and their arrival and settling in Albany, New York. I loved the simple times which may have been harsher times to live without all of our modern conveniences. I was brought up in the Catholic church and was taught to look up to and honor the priests and other hierarchy of the church. It tears me up that they used their position to abuse women and young people. It makes me wonder why there wasn’t a man who would stand up and blow the whistle? It was covered up for years.
I wasn’t going to give this book 5 stars but, I had to! JoAnn Stevelos did her job. She brought this very poignant story to light. This is a must read and is the first book of a trilogy. I know I will be compelled to read the rest of the story.
SYNOPSIS: Alek and Evie Korli are getting divorced, as first generation Americans with four children their family life is difficult. However, the situation becomes more complicated when a newly ordained handsome priest, Howard Russo, moves into the neighborhood parish. Howard surprised by his feelings for Evie begins to lure her into an affair. Soon the unusual love triangle begins to unravel. Howard and Evie secretly move into together and her four children see up close Howard’s worst traits that drive him to unspeakable acts. Evie has a heartbreaking revelation about Howard that forces her to decide between him and her husband and children. When Evie’s secret is finally out none of their lives will ever be the same.
Howard Be Thy Name is a story rooted in finding reasons for the complicated ways we fail our children in spite of our best intentions and the desire to give them a better life. The story will leave reader utterly changed. It is an immigrant family saga filled with suspense, drama, and compassion.