“If you want to yell at somebody, yell at him.”
“I’m not yelling!”
“Yes, you are!”
In fact, we both were, in voices raw and shrill and dangerously close to rage. It was the first time ever. One more thread pulled out the tapestry. Pretty soon there wasn’t going to be anything left of our rich, perfect, former lives at all.
Book: One Last Thing by Nancy Rue and Rebecca St. James, Thomas Nelson, 2015
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 18+
Subjects: Pornography, Love, Family Relationships, Prostitution, Sexual Abuse
Summary: It’s a fairy tale. It has seemed that way all along, but now Tara knows just how much of a fairy tale her relationship with Seth is. It’s just as make-believe as fairy tales. Do they truly love each other? Yes, but there are some things going on with Seth that Tara knew nothing about until she walked in on him one night as he sat in front of his computer screen fully engaged in pornography. The crashing of her dreams begins there and doesn’t stop until Seth has tried to commit suicide, her friends have abandoned her, family traditions are ruined, and she feels utterly alone in the secret Seth asked her to keep. It’s not just the loss of a fiancée, it’s the loss of identity. Tara has loved Seth since she was little. She’s wrapped her identity in him and leaned on his faith instead of finding her own. Now she’s broken and alone and all her plans for the future are ruined. She has no where left to turn. At least she doesn’t until the most off assortment of people take her in, brokenness and all, and point her towards the One who’s love and loyalty can be trusted when everyone else walks away.
Notes: One Last Thing is the third in the set of books Rebecca St. James and Nancy Rue have been writing together; tackling serious issues that tend to destroy relationships. Each book shows a young woman in a committed relationship who has to find their identity in Christ after discovering something difficult about the man they were committed to. This book wrestles with the issue of pornography and its impact on a relationship, on the man viewing it, on the woman who loves the man viewing it, and on the culture as a whole. Tara feels dirty and like Seth will be thinking of the woman on the video, not her, when he touches her. One character in the story has had two different boyfriends try to act out scenes from a pornography video with her and has men at the hotel she works at try to proposition her to come watch pornography videos with her. By the time you get to the end of the story you learn that Seth is so into pornography due to being sexually abused by someone he trusted as a child. The book also shows how powerful of an addiction pornography can be. Seth tries multiple times to quit, to overcome his addiction, but the pain and anxiety always turn him back to it until he finally gets help. The spiritual elements are woven all throughout the entire story. Parts of it are painful. Both characters come from strong Christian families but Seth’s pastor father just blindly places the blame on Tara, not willing to accept what is told him about his son, particularly when Seth’s sister makes accusations against Seth. Tara finally finds herself in a church very focused on liturgy and starts getting some counseling from the pastor who tells her that she needs to “find out what’s true and be true to it” instead of the fairy tale she lived in for so long, the fairy tale that didn’t require a personal relationship with Christ. She also makes friends with a group of women at her new job who take her under their wing, feeding her, encouraging her and trying to build her back up.
Overall, the book does an excellent job covering how serious the issue is and showing how it can tear apart relationships and destroy dreams. It’s a powerful book, not a happily ever after book. I highly recommend it.
Spiritual Content Scale: 5/5
Colossians 3:5 – Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Thank you to Book Look for providing me with a free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.