Cover Image: The Church of The Lighted Window, Vol 1

The Church of The Lighted Window, Vol 1

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Here I found myself again, a French reader on NetGalley UK reading a christian novel, completely disarmed towards the genre, and yet very moved by the story. Being on this journey of discovering books with a religious greater theme, the way God comes as an answer in the book was really striking to me, and so was the way faith and philosophy intertwine so gently. The novel tackles mental health in a way that is very touching, being ill meaning being lost in one's own mind. The rather chaotic contruction of the chapters makes for a really immersive ride into the main character's thoughts. I do not know weather the author conveys ideas that could actually help someone who struggles, but it does succeed in representation and empathy, which is already a lot. I also really enjoyed the way it thematically mirrors (probably involuntarily) Robert Zemeckis' 'Welcome to Marwen'. I would recommend it, it was a long but moving read.

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This story follows Kyle Getty a man of success until he is placed into court-ordered therapy after he brutally assaults a man who was bullying a disabled man. Through the therapy group, he meets other fellow clients and comes face to face with his own pain and grief he has pushed down and denied.

The story was interesting, and I liked that it focused on the highs and lows that occur in life, and the connection to God and faith. The pacing of the book felt a little off and at times difficult to follow.

Overall, a decent book and I enjoyed my time!

Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This book was super unique, I honestly haven’t read anything like it. There were some parts I loved: the deep analytical thought into past hurts and how they impact us now (specifically regarding family which was super interesting), the writing (beautiful and deeply pensive), and the relationships the protagonist had with other people at Fallbrook. There were times where I’d have to read a paragraph over and over because the scene it created was just so beautiful. I also loved how the way the story resolved was simply him finding Christ.

However, maybe this just wasn’t my kind of book. The speed at which some things were glossed over and resolved without mention left me a little lost at times. The timeline was a little funky given the narrator telling the story in hindsight and my mind definitely missed a few things. I’d say it read more like a fictional memoir of sorts, but it felt a little more scattered which I suppose could be argued that that made it more realistic.

I also felt like at the end when he was coming to all these conclusions about faith, I wasn’t really sure how he had come to any of them. Like the transition from one chapter to another would somehow skip over the times he spent in His Bible and we didn’t really see any of that. I’d love to have seen a bit more of that development… All in all, it was a good book and I’d recommend it if you’re into the way people tell their own stories and how our perception of God plays into that! And some parts were just deeply wholesome and made my heart warm. So read it for that too.

S/o NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book :)

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The Church of The Lighted Window, Vol 1
by Anthony Faggioli III
Pub Date 17 Mar 2023
Atticus Creative, Inc.
Christian| General Fiction \(Adult\)| Literary Fiction

A copy of The Church of the Lighted Window.Vol.1 has been provided to me by Atticus Creative, Inc and Netgalley for review:

Kyle Getty was a successful, accomplished individual. Until one day he lost his mind and brutally attacked a man who was bullying a disabled person. Kyle has been placed in therapy at Fallbrooke Mental Institution in Oregon after being ordered by the court to do so.

He will never forget the fellow "clients" waiting for him at Fallbrooke. A young man who speaks only in rhymes and a French girl who cannot sleep. A man with Alzheimer's is trying to sketch his memories and, last but not least, a woman with a deadly brain tumor believes she has discovered a way to live forever.

In Fallbrooke, Kyle is forced to confront the pain that has ultimately brought him here, a pain rooted in the loss of his father, mother, and then his dreams.

There is, however, someone else waiting for Kyle at Fallbrooke. Kyle Getty has never given God the time he needs to fully understand him. That is, until now.

I give The Church of the Lighter Window five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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I really enjoyed this book. It looks at the challenges of life and the dark moments, that reflects our faith today. I would definitely re-read.

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Overall, not the book for me. From the pacing to the writing and character descriptions, I just wanted this book over and done with.

With the focus of this book being about Kyle's recovery, of course there's not gonna a grand adventure in the rehab facility; it's gonna play like an indie film with lots of talking and little in the way of action. But there were points where it was just too much talking, too much philosophical debates. The only action we get is when he tries to run away and gets caught within a page. If books with lots of inner monologues are your thing, this is the book for you.

As I mentioned, the pacing as well is all over the place. I figured we wouldn't get the entire story in one go, but so much doesn't happen in these 200+ pages. He mentions his roommate Suess and you're lead to believe, with his formidable introduction, that he was gonna be a big part of Kyle's time at Fallbrooke. And he was just not. After we're introduced to the man himself and their standoff at the first group therapy session, Suess is gone and mentioned only in passing. The only people at the facility I liked here Bob and the twins. Enrique we see, like, once and I just couldn't get a read on Kyle and Cinel's relationship. I didn't believe it to be the big thing that kept him going.

The author's writing was also a problem for me. The tone shifted heavily towards religion at the very end which works for some but not for me. I was hoping God would be one of the patients that thinks himself to be this mythical being and it would make for some laughs, but nope. When he says he met God, he legit meant the Big Man himself and that reading the nothing and no one can make you feel more complete than Him and reading the bible. Not my cup of tea.

Religion aside, though, I still had issues with how the author describes his characters. very conscious of male and female. Male in the sense that he tries not to cry, calls Enrique's speaking voice "prissy," and female in that he mentions when the women don't where makeup, uses attractiveness as qualifiers. It's unnecessary and just gives me the ick.

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