"Richard Botelho presents one woman’s search for meaning in his first novel, Leah’s Way. Showing Leah’s entire life from childhood to death, Botelho gives an insightful picture of human frailties and the hidden longing of the soul.
"Leah grows up under an overbearing mother and a loving father in the 1950s and 60s, but she maintains her steadfast Christian faith. In high school she falls in love with a young man who dumps her, beginning a downward spiral of callousness toward love and eventually a sinful lifestyle. She marries a promising baseball player so she can leave her small hometown and live in California, then becomes bitter after Vic injures his pitching arm and chance at fame. Her choices, in the end, leave her homeless on the streets.
"Most novels depict rising action, building toward a climax. In Leah’s Way, things progress from bad to worse. A hopeful revelation of the meaning in Leah’s life as she is dying serves as the book’s finale. The writing is deep but awkward, giving an old-fashioned air in the beginning but becoming annoying as the book wears on. Most memorable is the menagerie of secondary characters, each deftly described and unique. Several profanities occur throughout the book, and Leah becomes unfaithful and manipulative, so conservative readers may want to pass this one up. Only select people will enjoy this book, but if you prefer a realistic view on life with a taste for the melodramatic and don’t mind the questionable wording and situations, you might want to try it." -- Katie Hart, Christian Book Previews.com
Leah's Way is that rarest of novels, one that combines an inspirational story with unapologetic realism, where characters come alive and fill the heart with experiences as unforgettable as life itself. The tale of one woman's quest to find the meaning of her life, Leah's Way examines the soul at search, set against a world full of human weakness and misgiving. It is in this seeming despair that Leah's Way becomes a story of personal triumph, the kind of singular determination that inspires the reader toward a greater appreciation of all the soul struggles to achieve. Above all, Leah's Way is a testament to the irrepressible will of the human spirit and a tribute to an indomitable faith that guides the soul homeward.