Book Notes: Casting the First Stone


Book Notes 720 x 340 medium blue outline and medium blue pen _ Notes light blue (2)

Who knows what’s best for 12-year-old Charli?

  • Is it Marita, her single mother, who was only 17 when Charli was born and who avoids the church she feels is always judging her?
  • Is it her grandparents, who try to control Marita’s life–and Charli’s too?
  • Is it Jim, Charli’s workaholic father, who chose his frat-boy lifestyle over his baby but now wants full custody?
  • Is it Angel, Charli’s stepmother, who fears that her inability to conceive a child of her own will ruin her marriage?

casting the first stone cover

In a child-custody tug-of-war, is it possible for anyone to “win”? Lisa Lawmaster Hess explores this question in her novel Casting the First Stone. Her background as a counselor shows as she probes this complicated subject from two points of view: those of Charli’s mother and her stepmother.

Dual points of view don’t always work in a novel, but they definitely do in this one. Maybe that’s because the points of view shown are those of a mother and stepmother. There are a lot of questions regarding various characters’ motivations, but it becomes clear to the reader exactly who has the child’s best interest at heart.

I’ve read this novel twice already and I look forward to the sequel, due out this fall! contributor Lisa Lawmaster Hess is not only a novelist; she is a teacher, speaker and nonfiction writer as well. Learn more about Lisa’s other work here.

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Copyright 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS.


About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is managing editor for Today's Catholic Teacher magazine and editor at Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.

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