About the Book
Book: Faces of Courage
Author: Susan K. Beatty
Genre: Christian Woman’s Fiction
Release date: May 11, 2021
Fear strangles even the faithful sometimes.
Despite every attempt to be brave, fear has defined Olivia Stanford’s life: with each new foster home, when her adopted parents died leaving her all alone again, trusting and marrying her husband, Frank, and coping with his football injuries and career loss.
Without faith, fear only grows in the face of adversity.
When Frank becomes abusive, Olivia enters a terror-filled life in her upscale Southern California home. Common sense demands she dig deep for the courage to confront him–to demand change. Fear and confusion push back.
And just as courage finally blooms within her comes the terrifying diagnosis: breast cancer.
Some say courage is found at the intersection of faith and grit. How will Olivia manage to summon either in the midst of this new battle?
My Thoughts on the Book
“Someone told me once that the chief piece of armor is the breastplate of righteousness. God is the truly righteous one, and when we live each day in obedience to Him, His righteousness produces in us a practical, daily righteousness. And when you have on your ‘good-news shoes’, when you have trusted God for salvation, there is a peace with God that is your sure foundation to stand firm in His strength. My mother-in-law told me courage comes from faith and grit, and when we rely on that faith and in the Lord’s strength, we act strong, with grit, showing a face of courage.”
This book tackles the very difficult subjects of domestic violence and breast cancer. It was a difficult read for me this week, because I too have been through domestic violence – and the waters of my past were stirred up this week, and I was an emotional wreck. With everything my heart was struggling with this week, this book was definitely hard for me to get through. But despite the wounds of my heart oosing out from my past, I found this book to be surreal and comforting. I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to keep reading through the pain. I really related to the quote below,
She willed the anger to go away. She demanded the rage to disappear. Where was her courage? Lord, where is my courage? It’s okay to grieve, my love. Holding the pillow more tightly, she allowed the sobs the freedom to escape, taking grief with them. This too was a face of courage, right?”
I found comfort in this because I’d been wrestling with God on why I always cry in His presence. I find myself often questioning why I can feel so confident and strong in my decisions, and yet feel so weak and messed up. I felt like God was telling me through this book that it’s okay to cry, and by not just letting myself feel the feelings and cry – I was not being courageous. I was actually living in fear.
The story of Job is mentioned a few times throughout the book, and I really loved this. I’ve often thought of Job when I’ve faced trials in my life. It’s comforting to know that when you feel angry, scared, and are questioning everything you can still approach the throne of God with confidence. He loves us, and will never leave of forsake us. He wants to wrap His arms around us, and comfort us. He wants to fill our cups with peace and give us strength for the moment.
I really enjoyed this book, and think it’s a great read for anyone facing challenges they’ve never imagined they’d face. So often when we are going through tribulations, we feel alone – and I think this book will gently cradle the reader with God’s loving hands, and point them in the direction of His comfort and strength – that will give them the grit and courage to muster through with grace.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV
I received a copy of this book from the Celebrate Lit Blogging Program. All thoughts are my own.
About the Author
“Courage: The intersection of faith and Grit”
Susan K. Beatty is passionate about finding courage through faith and grit, particularly through the trials of breast cancer. Her daughter is a metastatic breast cancer “thriver” and has been an inspiration for her writing. Susan retired from a full-time job in 2017 and is now pursuing a novel-writing career. Her first novel, “Faces of Courage,” is in revision. Susan is the author of “An Introduction to Home Education” (AKA “California Homeschool Manual”), was the assistant director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and is the president of her local ACFW-OC Chapter. She is a professional writer/journalist. Susan is proof you can begin a fiction writing career after age seventy.
More from Susan
The words “You have breast cancer” can drop you to your knees. What’s worse is when those words are spoken to your thirty-one-year-old daughter. And worse yet when they are spoken to her more than once. My daughter Melanie has had three bouts with breast cancer, the second time classified her with stage IV metastatic breast cancer of which there is no cure. Over an eleven-year period, Melanie has undergone twelve surgeries, one removing two-thirds of her sternum to be replaced by a donor bone with titanium clamps.
Melanie’s courage during these battles inspired me to write about courage at the intersection of faith and grit. True-to-life stories follow characters through cancer and other issues confronting women today.
In Faces of Courage, I wanted to tell a story like Melanie’s but not exactly Melanie’s, a story nevertheless filled with growing courage. Melanie’s journey doesn’t include an abusive husband (Praise God!), but our terrorized heroine Olivia suffers from her husband’s mistreatment, confused by her misunderstanding of how God views her, and challenged by her lack of strong faith. Just as her courage matures and strengthen through these problems, she’s thrown by those knee-buckling words, “You have breast cancer.”
It is necessarily a gritty look at domestic abuse and the realities of dealing with cancer and its various treatments. I wanted to show Olivia’s growth as a wife, how she experienced the cancer, and how, with the help of faith and grit, her courage flourished.
In many ways, this novel is a tribute to women who fight these battles with bravery, even if that valor takes time to develop. I pray the reader, by witnessing another’s journey, is strengthened in her own battles.
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To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.