PIZZA WITH JESUS (NO BLACK OLIVES) by P.J. Frick

PIZZA WITH JESUS (NO BLACK OLIVES)

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of Christian-themed tales of life’s heartbreak and redemption.

In her nonfiction debut, Frick, an elementary school librarian, assembles a collection of gentle, uplifting Christian parables that one can imagine her sharing with students. She calls the book “an attempt to answer His call to share my journey of faith through the most difficult times of my life,” and the remembrances revolve mainly around themes of grief, particularly regarding the loss of her beloved husband, David, in 2016. She movingly recounts his struggle with cancer in great detail and also relates the personal pain that it caused her. Her consolations will resonate with the Christian readers of her target audience: “What a comforting image! David with his Lord Jesus Christ—free of pain and warmed by God’s love.” Almost equally moving is Frick’s account of her love for her “seven-year-old goofy love-bug,” a Great Dane named Tillman, who was afflicted with bone cancer; every dog owner will nod enthusiastically and occasionally tear up at the story of how she and her husband eventually faced the sad decision that many pet owners eventually face. The text would likely have benefited from a stronger edit, as details are repeated often enough to be noticeable, and some dramatic beats seem missed or mishandled. But the author’s choice to interweave two large but distinct grief narratives into a religious memoir is a truly wise one, as it throws what St. Ignatius called the consolations of the Savior into greater relief.

A wrenching but ultimately heartwarming memoir of how one woman’s faith softened her grief.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-692-94120-1
Page count: 158pp
Publisher: Ingram Spark
Program: Kirkus Indie
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