Stray Affections is the story of three women. Cassie is mom to four little boys and wife to a great guy. She is also the daughter of a man who suffered from depression and his wife, who became very hard to deal with a life that got even harder. Her mom Betty has felt little joy since her husband died, but now is being courted by the town butcher. Her best friend Margret is coming to terms with infertility. They all live in a small Minnesota town. This is a charming heartwarming story of letting go of past hurts, forgiveness and healing. I loved watching the characters grow, to learn to understand themselves and others. A snow globe bought at a collectibles fair sort of starts things in motion but frankly I found that part of the story kind of bizarre but it did sort of start some stuff into motion (I'm trying not to write any spoilers). The story brought tears to my eyes a couple of times, but it had a nice happy ending.
It is Christian fiction, though light enough that it shouldn't bother anyone. I will dock the book a couple of points because the author makes a point of saying that Betty was raised Catholic, but left the church after her husband died. Her reason is that someone told her that her husband was in hell because of the suicide. For the record, the teaching of the Catholic church is that other than canonized saints, we don't know anyone's eternal fate. It is also taught that those who die in a state of unrepented mortal since are condemned to hell. A mortal sin is a serious sin that a person realizes is seriously sinful and freely chooses to do anyway. Today it is generally thought that for the most part those who commit suicide are mentally ill and therefore incapable of the consent necessary to make suicide a mortal sin. That wasn't always the case, and while today we tend to believe, absent some reason to think otherwise, that the person wasn't rejecting God (the essence of mortal sin), years ago it was common to think of suicide as mortal sin.
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