Novel Thoughts blog

IP Novels Digest: Happy Advent!

December 5, 2014 10:48 am | Leave a Comment

Need some Christmas gift ideas? Why not some of our novels? These reviewers think these books are great!

Accidental Marriage cover


Deacon Jim Russell had this to say about Roger Thomas’ The Accidental Marriage:

“The new novel “The Accidental Marriage” (Ignatius Press) by Roger B. Thomas is not exactly a familiar portrait of “romance,” perhaps—but rather a surprisingly compelling story of love…An “accidental” marriage of convenience is at the heart of the drama—and without giving too much of the plot away, let’s just say that Scott feels obligated to protect his friend Megan as she slogs through a most difficult pregnancy and a whole lot of personal upheaval. One moral dilemma after another comes into view, and Scott and Megan are forced to confront their fears, the reality of their choice to conceive a child, and the knife’s edge that is sacrificial love…I must highly recommend “The Accidental Marriage” as a stealthily but authentically Catholic story of not only the “transforming” power of marital love but also the “transubstantiating” power of that mutual self-gift that is our only means of true and loving spousal communion.”

Read the rest of his review at the Virtual Vestibule.

Amy M. Bennett also saw the lessons to be learned in Thomas’ novel:

The Accidental Marriage does not address the Church’s teachings on same-sex relationships head on (in fact, it does not address much religious teachings at all), but much is demonstrated regarding charity and the meaning of sacrificial love. The whole concept of laying down one’s life for one’s friend becomes clear in a unique way: while most people automatically equate it with physically dying, Mr. Thomas demonstrates how it is possible to lose one’s life in the social and professional arena and how that can be even more tragic and devastating than physical death…The author does a masterful job, however, of addressing the issue of same-sex relationships. Indeed, describing any kind of romantic relationship in a work of fiction, without sinking to the level of including base and graphic descriptions of the physical intimacies of those relationships, is difficult…The Accidental Marriage is an engaging read and offers a great deal of food for thought in regard to relationships between friends, lovers, and families while delivering a heart-felt and compelling story about true love and its healing power.”

Read the rest of her review at

Iota cover

Mark Nowakowski gives a raving review of T.M. Doran’s novel Iota:

“… previously, major publishers seemed almost entirely focused on the negative, spiritually-neutral (or dead) sphere of relativistic writers, a new school of positivistic literature is increasingly appearing on the horizon…. Wise publishing houses like Ignatius Press seem to be snatching up the best of these emerging voices.
Enter Michigander T.M. Doran. He joins the ranks of authors Michael O’Brien and Lucy Beckett in providing searingly human yet intellectually engaging novels to a public hungry for something more fulfilling in their literary pursuits than much of current literary drivel…. Doran genre-jumps into pure historical realism with his most recent effort, a short novel entitled “Iota.” This taut narrative takes place primarily during November 1945, when Prague native Jan Skala finds himself suddenly kidnapped by Soviet operatives and imprisoned for reasons beyond his knowledge or control… Far from being a partisan exercise, this intriguing material provides fodder for serious self-reflection that will appeal to readers of all ideological persuasions. True to the fine form Doran set in his previous book, “Towards the Gleam,” “Iota” provides us with a surprising yet satisfying conclusion, during which the meaning behind the book’s title is finally revealed. Not all the remaining loose ends are tied up. But they don’t have to be, as what is essential comes quickly to the forefront.”

Read the rest of his review at Communities Digital News.

Mark Lardras also enjoyed Iota:

“Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, two old men meet in what had formerly been East Berlin. As they discuss the past, a third man joins them. He has a pistol, and he states he plans to kill them. This encounter opens “Iota,” a new novel by T.M. Doran. The roots of the confrontation lay buried four decades previously…”Iota” is a tight-paced novel, one that examines the nature of truth, and what humanity to those trapped in an inhumane situation.”

Read the rest of his review at Galveston Daily News.


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Important Information:
Opinions expressed on the Novel Thoughts weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.

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