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Review Roundup, August 20 (The Ordinary Sin)

There have been a few more reviews of “The Ordinary Sin” since last I posted about them. Here are some snippets, but you can find the full reviews at

HS says: “Mario Kiefer’s choice of title stirs a visceral response within any reader, even from the most stubborn or cynical . . . Kiefer forces us to look within ourselves and employ the whole of our experience in interpreting this powerful story of, well... universal love. The Bible verses sprinkled at the beginning of the chapters made me think perhaps Kiefer was alluding to the Very First Sin, of Adam and Eve’s dishonesty. An ordinary misstep, mundane and forgettable. But we are not released so easily from our anticipation; Kiefer’s effortless prose harnesses the power that is left in the unsaid. Whether the reference is rooted in faith, history, or betrayal, we are unsure . . . Kiefer challenges the reader with a new vision: a clearer vision. How much will we lose before we are ready to lose the worst parts of ourselves? Heartbreaking in its truth, “The Ordinary Sin” is a story of the sin inherent in life, and the beauty that can be found in both, if only we allow it.”

Reader2020 says that The Ordinary Sin is “A captivating read from the first few pages . . . Clues throughout build to the truth hidden so long . . . The author does a great job foreshadowing events while sharing past family history leading to the climax. Slight twist on the prodigal one returning home.”

Raegan writes, “WOW . . . Let me just start off by saying that this book was way more in depth then I ever expected it to be . . . I found myself getting more and more entangled with the characters as I read . . . The way the author was able to delve into both man's sinful nature and a believer's attempt to be free from that . . . so well done. Having Sara find her mother's diaries, and further developing her character by using flashbacks, was a stroke of genius . . . The whole book was a great look into the hearts and minds of men, or in this case women . . . although I know Sarah, Angelina, and the other characters are not real oh, I found myself yearning to reach out to them, to heal their family and help them sort out their problems and differences . . . I don't know how I got so invested in these characters, but I'm sure it is a testament to the author."

DF opines, “Mario Kiefer delivers yet another brilliant story about the complexity of family in The Ordinary Sin. Angelina is a deeply devout woman with three daughters: Sara, Rosita, and Gabriella. Kiefer explores the relationship between Sara, Angelina, and Angelina’s faith through the present timeline, where Sara is taking care of her aging mother, and through flashbacks of Christmas traditions and lectures on sin. . . The prose is simple and real, and even though Kiefer covers complex topics, he doesn’t preach or philosophize. He tells a story about people who are real enough to be your friends or neighbors . . . it made me realize that there are some feelings and events in a family that are universal experiences- we aren’t so different from each other after all.”

Kelly writes: “What is it that we see when we look at ourselves in the mirror? When we look at the world around us? The vicious cycle of accusation and underlying hypocrisy drives this book forward through the eyes of the young woman who was trained from an early age to pray without ceasing and hold herself accountable to a standard that no one can attain . . . I empathized with Sara as she struggled through her days . . . It's what we all do, right? Seeing that the cycle touches everyone . . . If a book makes you think, and examine your own life and opinions for a while then it was impactful. Read it, and see where it takes you.

VR wrote that “One sign of a good book is that it makes you stop and think about concepts beyond the plot itself, and Kiefer definitely managed to pull that off. For instance, while I was originally intrigued by the idea that Angelina believed she could literally see sin, I ended the book with some new thoughts on how real life sins or wrongdoings can affect one's self as well as one's relationships with family, and where to draw the line for forgiveness when it comes to people we love. This book led to some meaningful introspection for me as a reader, which I feel is somewhat rare from a fictional piece such as this.”

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