Maddie Foster is blind, but she never wanted pity---especially from Paul Tilden. Paul enjoyed his friendship with Maddie---but questioned his own judgment when he fell in love. Now Maddie lies unconscious in a hospital bed and her husband is left alone to recall their courtship---and await the final mystery in God's plan! 304 pages, softcover from Multnomah.
Click. The camera closes in on a woman in a hospital bed. The tubes and machines indicate that shes fighting for her life. But is she?Click. A man waits at her bedside, remembering.Click. A college friendship blooms into the love God planted long before.Click. The pain of a genetic curse of blindness deepens with the revelation of past secrets and present betrayal.These scenesand many moremake Beyond the Night the stuff movies are made of. We follow author Marlo Schaleskys camera of words as she records the love-memories of Paul and Maddy. Through vivid description, realistic dialogue, and judicious use of flashbacks, she unwinds a story that combines the power of enduring love with the angst of hidden wounds, the depth of true-to-life characters with a page-turning storyline.The imperfections of Schaleskys characters help us identify with each one. Their tender, tangled relationships remind us of our own lives. And the books surprising, hope-filled conclusion draws us back to the essentials.At times, the author said a little too much. I wanted to draw my own conclusions about Paul and Maddy, and she made most of them for me. But I find that a minor flaw in a work that delighted and inspired me. I hope to read more from Marlo Schalesky and look forward to my next opportunity to look through her multifaceted lens.
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Review 2 for Beyond the Night
Date:July 28, 2009
I laughed and I cried, and then I cried some more. This book is about friendship, love, sacrafice, and hope. Paul stands by Maddie in her darkest hour to her finest moment. He never gave up on her and he was reminded that Jesus loved Maddie more than he ever could. That gave him the courage to go for true love.This book had me in tears most of the time.
The person who gave this book two stars very clearly did not understand this book, it's message and how the storyline went. I won't go into too much detail because I would spoil the ending for a future reader. I COULD NOT put this book down. It is beautifully written and with tremendous insight from this author. We should all be a brave as the heroine and the author. It has a kicker of an ending and you will need a box of tissues. The only two authors that have ever touched me this much are Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers.
Youve read them before: boy meets girl, boy and girl become friends, boy and girl resist their friendship developing into anything more, and so on. The stubborn love story, wherein the characters refuse to acknowledge and/or embrace their love for each other. Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky is on one level such a story, but it develops into so much more.I am not typically a reader of romance stories; I can assure you that this is not your typical light and fluffy romantic fare. Paul and Maddies struggles with the imminent loss of vision and faith, and their own shortcomings add depth and meaning to the story of their love. I was relieved to find that the tale of their developing affections free them from sensual engagements. Too many romantic stories are mired in the promise or acts of physical intimacy, the reason I normally avoid the genre.I was drawn to this title for several reasons the assurance that the characters involved would marry, the spiritual struggle and theme of spiritual darkness brought on by the blindness and the promise of a surprise ending - I couldnt resist. Schalesky doesnt disappoint on any of these counts. Many would feel that a story in which you know the outcome of relationship would be without suspense or uncertainty. Countless titles offer formulaic and predictable endings; a skillful author, Schalesky succeeded in taking me by surprise with the books conclusion.Read it for the love story, the spiritual struggle, or the surprise ending, but do read it. Paul and Maddies deep and enduring love along with their faith in God overcomes their fears and takes them Beyond the Night. You wont want to miss this one. Ill be watching for future releases from Schalesky, who is writing more titles with unexpected endings.P.S. This is one youll want to share with your girlfriends.
Marlo Schaleskys Beyond the Night beautifully tells the story of Maddie and Paul. Beginning with an automobile accident, the author weaves the characters pasts with their present to bring the reader to several spiritual revelations. Some of these truths include the fact that righteous lives are not free of trouble, looking for God when you cant easily see Him makes Him more evident in painful circumstances. Schalesky effectively shares how much Jesus loves us, and brings to light how we can love others well.This is a thoughtfully written novel that really made me think about how and why God has answered my prayers as He has. The characters circumstances made me grateful for my own position in life. It showed me that fear is a thief that will rob me of life if I allow it to do so. The book also contains a thought-provoking list of discussion questions. This would be a wonderful reading group pick!
A heavy storm, a terrible accident and a family is shattered.Lying unconscious in a hospital bed, Maddie can hear her beloved husband whispering words of intimacy, love and hope. Gently beckoning her back to him, Paul reminds Maddie of their journey from friendship to their deep abiding love and the fears, heartache and hope that shaped their relationship.Maddie feels suffocated by the darkness pressing upon her, as it dredges up her past pain and the blackness that threatened to consume her and her relationship with Paul in those early days. When she tires of fighting, Paul's love and commitment, so evident in his voice, woos her once again to reach past her physical and emotional pain and find his arms again.Beyond the Night is a hauntingly beautiful tale of love lost and found, hope destroyed and restored with an ending that brought me to tears and filled me with joy! Marlo Shalesky's insight into the human heart is exceptional and her talent with the written word, indisputable. This story will inspire you to love more generously, persevere during hardship, embrace hope and seek God. Beyond the Night is the first in Marlo's Love Stories With a Twist series and leaves me highly anticipating each story that will follow.
Beyond the Night is an amazing love story that will make your heart sing. In some ways it had that sad/beautiful feel of yearning hope and unrequited love...sort of like the mood of Sparks's novel The Notebook, except this story wasn't rated R. They beauty of the author's writing style filled me with awe, and the way she used dialogue and internal thoughts to convey deep emotion took my breath away. The interaction between Maddie and Paul was so beautiful it made you long for them to realize what they had. At times I wanted to climb through the pages and tell them to wake up and do something about the way they felt. It was awesome...and holy. The spiritual journey was necessary and real, and didn't have a contrived element sometimes found in books where characters are angry at God for some loss they'd experienced. Everything flowed naturally. Even the scriptures. Beyond the Night is also a fabulous illustration of the necessity of God's perfect timing. It shows how God knows our needs and understands our pain even when we don't. It brings to mine a pop song that goes... "You can't hurry love, no, you just have to wait..." You can't read this story without feel changed by story's end. I highly recommend it.
This book reminded me of the movie Notebook based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. This too is a story where Paul helps his wife remember their amazing love story!Maddie, Pauls wife lies in a hospital bed fighting for her life. Paul decided to remind her of how they met, the adventures in college, and how their friendship blossomed into love.Each time Paul tells her part their story he stops and asks, Remember Maddie?He hopes helping her remember will keep her alive. Remembering will give her something to live for.There are many powerful revelations in this book but one really stays with me Hope. It was a strong thing. Invisible. And real. Soft as a flowing stream, strong as a ragging torrent. I love how the author gives a word picture of hope. Marlo has her characters come to this revelation of hope in the story as well. Powerful.Get your tissues ready before you start reading this heartfelt story of friendship, hope, deep love, and the discovery that God doesnt leave us in darkness but longs to love us in it!
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Review 9 for Beyond the Night
Date:April 8, 2008
You know those books that pack an emotional punch? The ones you cant put down and then after youre done with them you think about them for days?That was Beyond the Night for me.Flowing between the present-day scene of a woman floating on a sea of darkness - at times almost drowning - and her husband groaning for her to wake from her coma, and a series of flashbacks in the 1970s, the real treasure for me were the scenes between Paul and Maddie in their twenties.With graduation on the horizon, Maddies life seems to be following her orderly plan. Get her degree. Become a doctor. Get married.Yes, things are going her way. Until she starts to lose her sight.Paul realizes his love for Maddie on the same night she begins to lose her vision. But how can he convince her that everything will be okay when experience has taught him it wont be?Schalesky has an incredible talent for building emotion in her scenes that is an effortless journey for the reader, who then finds themselves on the edge of the cliff with Maddie - did Paul mean it when he said he loved her???Pauls indecision and heartache over the past also really touched me, as I tend to be an overthinker and relive past mistakes. But he definitely redeems himself through the end of the story!Using delicately weaved-in details, Schalesky managed to bring the past to life, even to someone who wasnt alive during the featured decade. I think these minute details are what also allowed this reader to feel so close to the characters, so entrenched in the scenes.This was my first Schalesky read and I will definitely be looking for her other books. Highly recommended.