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Raves & Praise

  • "Beautifully detailed and rich in exceptional characterization ... Curran's novel gently reminds readers that fantasy has a place in everyone's life, and dreams can come true. Uniquely uplifting and never didactic, this is a gem." -BOOKLIST, starred review

  • "With a masterful wit and clever twists, Sheila Curran has created an intricately woven mystery. Captivating, fast-paced, no-holds-barred storytelling, DIANA LIVELY IS FALLING DOWN defies pigeon-holing. Wrestling the complexities of motherhood, loss and betrayal, politics, the environment, and theme parks, it is at once intimate, domestic, and worldly. A debut to celebrate!" -Julianna Baggott, GIRLTALK, THE MISS AMERICA FAMILY, THE MADAM

  • "Brilliant, touching, and funny as hell, Diana Lively packs a powerful punch. A poignant and biting satire of contemporary family life, American business, ivory-tower academics, and trans-Atlantic cultural differences, this spirited romp through an Englishwoman's Arizona deserves a unique place of honor on any bookshelf. Diana is one of those stories that can linger forever in one's own memory and imagination, as a reference point for every new book that comes along, or even more, for life itself. Wry, engaging, and wise beyond words, Diana is bound to delight and amaze." -Carlos Eire, 2003 National Book Award winner, WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA

  • "DIANA LIVELY IS FALLING DOWN is a terrific pick-me-up. You couldn't find two more disparate landscapes than Oxford, England and Arizona, and that's exactly what one British woman discovers when she crosses the pond to find herself a fish-out-of-water -- only to realize that for the first time in her life, this means she can stand on her own two feet. Filled with characters who make you laugh out loud even as they break your heart, this is a funny, warm, inventive, original book." -Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of VANISHING ACTS and MY SISTER'S KEEPER

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Heather Nicholson

I lost my religion so many years ago when I yearned for any images that looked like my dark skinned self or family. However angst ridden I felt about being an African American girl amongst a sea of white faces Catholicism also gave me a supernatural space where my otherworldly imagination reigned. It has so richly defined who I am and why I have always sought to understand religion that I still yearn for the sanctity of the space (and tour Catholic churches in every new city). Thanks for the post and the references by Julianna and Mary below. It is enjoyable to read about other's journey in the faith.

William McPherson

Great piece, Shiela.

Chloe Hobdy

I'm very sorry to read that you have experienced these feelings of isolation regarding the Catholic Church. As a female convert to the Catholic Church since 2007, I have also dealt with the issue of using birth control in marriage. By learning more about Natural Family Planning, however, I am completely confident that my marriage and family life will benefit from the absence of birth control. Contrary to the Rhythm Method that you mentioned (which is, agreeably, a faulty, out of date method that no modern woman would put themselves through), NFP is 99% effective - just as effective as birth control. In addition to this, NFP opens communication between marriage partners, since they must discuss the possibility of getting pregnant each time they make love. This method is taught by many religious institutions, not just the Catholic Church; however, it is the Catholic Church that supports its teachings enough to offeri classes and home guides for newly engaged couples. The bottom line is that NFP teaches the woman to keep track of her fertility so that she can both abstain from intercourse when her chance of getting pregnant is high, and also engage in intercourse when she and her husbands are hoping to get pregnant. No steroids or chemicals to affect her body in an unnatural or harmful way, and no believing that we, as women, should place our opinion of when we have a baby over God's opinion. This is not the Church's way of trying to "control" a woman's fertility, nor is it the Church's way of trying to churn out 15+ member families (like I said, NFP is 99% effective). On the contrary, the Catholic Church is the only institution to recognize what an amazing gift fertility is - one that women should be celebrated and be made aware of. Instead of simply popping a pill to avoid pregnancy, we should take this opportunity to study our bodies,, to talk to our husbands, and, most importantly, to grow closer to the only religious body striving to retain what makes us so amazing - our fertility. Simply because the Rhythm Method has failed (and it has) does not mean that women should run off and purchase birth control. There are so many other choices available, including NFP. I hope that you will find your way back to the Church some day, and that you will experience the same contentment I feel every day as a Catholic woman.

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No given or substances to impact her body in an artificial or dangerous way, and no knowing that we, as females, should place our viewpoint of when we have a child over The lord's viewpoint.


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