When you review a book that was written by someone you consider a friend, it is always a little difficult. You want your friend to look good, but you want to be completely honest in your assessment of his or her work. Come My Beloved: Inspiring Stories of Catholic Courtship was written and edited by my friend and fellow author Ellen Gable Hrkach with Kathy Cassanto. I have enjoyed Ellen’s work in the past, so, even though I was a little apprehensive when I decided to review it, I opened it enthusiastically.
I loved this book from the moment I read the authors’ introduction on how the idea for the book was conceived! Come My Beloved is an inspirational look at the courtship and eventual marriage of twelve Catholic couples. It presents an honest look at each couple’s journey towards each other and towards the fulfillment of God’s vocation for them in marriage.
Their stories are told in a conversational, “he said, she said,” style. It is a quick and fascinating read. The authors/editors have provided a beautiful look into God’s greater plan for each individual and for each marriage. They have even included their own marriage stories in the book, and I thoroughly enjoyed this public peak into their private journeys.
Catholic teaching is evident within each story, without being at all preachy. The hauntingly honest tales of prayer, longing and courtship demonstrate God’s hand in lives the couples portrayed.
One line in Come My Beloved, resonated deep within me, “I think falling in love is more like falling into God together…” says Posie Douthwright. That phrase seems to sum up the place to which these married couples arrived.
Come My Beloved, would make an excellent gift for any young man or woman who is discerning God’s vocation for their lives. I think teenage girls may find hope and guidance in searching for a ‘real’ love through the stories in this book. Engaged or married couples may also benefit from this beautiful book, as it can provide information, inspiration and perhaps a trip down memory lane as they recall their own courtship stories.