Book Review: "Leaving Yesterday" by Kathryn Cushman

Alisa Stewart feels like she's lost two sons: her youngest to a terrible tragedy and her eldest, Kurt, to a life ruined by addiction. But now Kurt has checked himself into rehab and found a healing faith that seems real. It's like he's been raised from the dead. But then a detective arrives at Alisa's door asking questions about a murder--the death of a drug dealer before Kurt entered rehab. Alisa fears losing her son again, and when she finds evidence linking him to the killing, she destroys it. Her boy is different now. He's changed and deserves a second chance. But when another man is charged with the crime, Alisa finds herself facing an impossible choice: be silent and keep her son or give up everything for the truth.

Bethany House has been on a roll with their contemporary literary fiction lately. They have been putting out books that directly touch you without being preachy or over dramatic. This latest book by Kathryn Cushman is no exception. Since I am not a mother, one would think that it would seem as it would be hard for me to understand exactly what Alisa is going through. How would I be able fully comprehend what it would mean to have a son who was living out your worst nightmare? This book however paints out Alisa's hopes and fears so clearly, it was actually like I was in her thoughts. The story is completely engaging and I was sucked into the story. Even though it may not have been actions I would have done myself, I totally understand why Alisa did what she did. You will do anything and everything to protect the ones you love. Without spoiling anything, I just want to say that you shouldn't expect a candy coated, happy ending here. This book portrays the real world and people face the consequences of their actions. This is way more powerful than a miracle ending where someone or something comes in to save the day. Also of interest, is the minor storyline between Alisa and her male married neighbor. I was intrigued as to where that plot would go and was surprised by the situation.

I've read several reviews where there have been comparisons between Cushman and Karen Kingsbury. Ok, in my honest opinion, Cushman's books blow Kingsbury's books out of the water. For starters, you don't always have the happy ending in Cushman's books. There isn't unnecessary soap opera drama. The characters are actually believable. These books are just contemporary women's fiction. They are stories that touch deep at your heart without have to resort to feeling as they are manipulating your tear ducts. VERY highly recommended.

Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman is published by Bethany House (2009)

This review copy was provided for a blog tour by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.


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