Blessings and Curses - Book Review

Blessings and Curses

Author: Judy Kelly
Genre: Christian - Romance
Date Published: February 14, 2018
ISBN-10: 1612969895
ISBN-13: 978-1612969893

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Book Review of :  Blessings and Curses


Blessings and Curses by Judy Kelly is a novel about a young devout Christian woman, Olivia Douglass, who is becoming a priest.  Her graduation is in just a few days,  but she has started having reservations about her future vocation.  During this time period, she gets an assignment to answer a request of a condemned convict, Leon Sunstrik Wilkerson, who is seeking some solace before his upcoming execution. A part of her fears this task but another part of her knows it is her duty.

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus is quoted as saying: 

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me"

Olivia knows she must follow this directive and visits this man, convict Leon Sunstrik Wilkerson, who she soon discovers was convicted of the murder of twelve young women and was responsible for numerous other hideous crimes. He has only a few days left before his final judgment day when he will face his Maker.

The new week proves to be a pivotal time in Olivia's life. It is a time of discovery, a time of new love, a time of startling revelations of her past and a time of clarity about her future.

This story speaks to how death row changes people. It talks about how scared Leon feels knowing he’ll soon be put to death and all he has is just a few more hours, minutes and seconds to make amends for the horrible crimes he perpetrated.  Kelly writes of the anguish Leon confesses to her as he waits to be killed. 

"Blessings and Curses," is a powerful story about the compassion, kindness, and solace rendered by prison ministries.  The story is fictional, but it reminds us that the Leon’s in this world teach us many lessons of compassion and how the work of these ministries can sometimes soften the hearts of the most hardened criminals whose lives have been broken by experiences unimaginable to us. 

Olivia sees a miracle of transformation in Leon and one of his final acts of attrition will change her life forever. The happenstance of her being drawn into prison ministry is transformative to her also. Kelly weaves a love story into her book of unsavory murders, prison life, and death row.  "Blessings and Curses," offers a taut tale, creating believable characters and making the book realistic.  A great read for lovers of unique romance novels or books that offer a glimpse into the cruel world of crime and punishment.

About Judy Kelly

Judy Kelly is an adjunct professor at Montgomery College in Maryland. She was previously a high school teacher in Fairfax County. She is an avid long-distance bicyclist, a running enthusiast, enjoys playing the piano and an active member of her church. She lives in Maryland. That Ever Died So Young is her first published work of fiction.

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