by Carolyn Fandel Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.
Close to the Soul offers a beautiful escape to a simpler time where God is first and family is a close second. The author’s debut explores the resiliency of family bonds and the grace of God when those bonds are tested. With equal measures of heartbreak and joy, Close to the Soul is a gripping novel that strikes every emotional chord. Through grit and grace, Carolyn Fandel survives being raped by someone she knows and trusts. She will not accept defeat –even when confronted by her rapist a second time. Instead, she uses her tragedy to help hundreds of others, some of whom she will never meet. Set in the era of the Vietnam War and the new feminism, this book will have you crying and cheering for Carolyn as she navigates the challenges of life after sexual assault. It is a religious novel written with clarity and purpose. It is an uplifting and hopeful story! There is a solid and unwavering faith displayed by the Fandel family. It is a thoughtfully written book with a significant question.