Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ryan's Father by June Foster

Book description:

The rippling influence of Ryan Reid's less than moral mother and absent father left a mark on his soul. Yet everything changed when the young teacher gave his life to the Lord...almost everything.

An earthquake hurls the beautiful Sandy Arrington into his life, tossing his world upside down. But when God calls him to build an annex for needy teens at his church, he finds himself battling an attraction toward his male partner in the project. His own struggles and Sandy's growing feelings for him force Ryan to face the issue he's long buried.

Can he dig his way out from under his secret to find Sandy's love?

My review:

   I'd never heard of this author until last week. Another Christian fiction author was having a Christian fiction scavenger hunt online - they are fun, though I never win anything - and June was one of the authors participating. She was giving away a copy of this novel. so I entered to win and commented that I hoped to win it, as I also struggle with same-sex attractions as her main character in the book does. Next thing I know, she commented on my blog with an offer to review the book, which I took her up on.

  I have long wished a Christian author would write a book like this. I actually started to write one, but never finished it. I am going to review this in a slightly different manner, splitting the review up as I occasionally do into parts:

The writing:

  The book is well written, and I like the author's writing style. Sometimes with smaller publishing companies, the editing and writing aren't too great, but they are in this novel. Though not a suspense novel, I found myself engrossed in it as much as if it were.

The characters:

  If an author doesn't have likable and believable characters, the story can be a total loss. I found myself really liking  the characters in Ryan's Father, and especially Ryan, who I could completely empathize with. Often characters in books are too perfect, but Ryan's flaws and struggles made him all the more likable.

The struggle:

 I can personally attest what it is like to have this struggle. June did a masterful job of portraying the struggle and the anguish of a Christian wanting to do the right thing, yet gripped by desires they did not want or choose.

 This is not a slam of the author, as she said the same thing at the end of the book: the speed of Ryan's deliverance from same-sex attractions to opposite sex attractions is unrealistic. Though many men have changed enough to be able to marry a woman and make it work, it rarely - if ever - happens as fast as it did in the book, and many never are able to achieve that.

 It is getting harder and harder to be a Christian holding a Biblical view of sexuality, and it takes courage for an author to write a book like this. Not all will like it, and the author has already received some negative comments. I am one who appreciates this book a lot. It does not give an extensive look into what it is like to have this struggle, but it gives a good enough look that maybe Christians reading it will better understand what we go through who do have it.

 I very much enjoyed this book, largely in part because I could so much identify with it, but the author did a great job of addressing this very difficult issue through the medium of Christian fiction. I most definitely recommend it.

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

  An award-winning author, June Foster is also a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She is the mother of two and grandmother of ten. June began writing Christian romance in 2010. She penned her first novel on her Toshiba laptop as she and her husband traveled the US in their RV. Her adventures provided a rich source of information for her novels. In 2013, June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and in 2014 a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father won The Clash of the Titles book of the month for January 2014 and was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's 2014 Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and For All Eternity are available from and Smashwords. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives.

Check out her blog at

Ryan's Father is published by White Fire Publishing, and is available on, and other retail websites.


Mary Jackson said...

Great review Mark! I will have to check this one out.

June Foster said...

Mark, thank you for your honest review. I agree, change moves slowly. Just as depression doesn't go away in a matter of months or an alcoholic isn't healed after two or three AA meetings, people who struggle with same sex attraction won't find the freedom they choose in the short time Ryan did. But I made that point in the book and you pointed out my notation at the end of the book as well.

My hearts desire is for Christians to find freedom from whatever sin with which they struggle in order to live a life pleasing to God. Ryan's struggle was with same sex attraction, but we Christians deal with many other difficulties as well.

I truly believe that when we allow God and His word into our lives, we'll find the power and energy to live productive lives for Him. Lives filled with joy and peace.

If any blog readers would like to chat with me, I'd welcome the opportunity.

Again, thank you for your review. God shower you with abundant blessings.