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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
William Freeman isn’t really a free man in C.S. Talbott’s The Appeal of Stalking. William (a.k.a. Billy) wants to foster a bond with his children. He is supportive of his daughter Faith and loves her son Trystan. Due to some of Faith’s indiscretions, her mother Diane has taken custody of Trystan. He is enrolled in the first grade without having attended kindergarten, and Billy chooses to try to reason with Diane, his ex-wife. Instead of remedying the issue, Billy finds himself facing a permanent restraining order and felony stalking charges. His son Tyler and his daughter Libby side with their mother and put further strain on their relationship. Determined to clear his name, Billy hires an attorney nicknamed “The Stalking Attorney” to appeal the charges.
C.S. Talbott’s The Appeal of Stalking is the epitome of what society has accepted to be normal for broken families. I have seen time and again where children pick sides and continue to defend one parent even into adulthood. I found Billy’s efforts to help Trystan to be noble, but Diane seemed to want to control everyone by playing the victim. Furthermore, I believe that money was Diane’s motivation since Faith and her father had been able to expose a famous actor having an affair. Since Faith refused to foster a relationship with Diane, Diane targeted Billy in order to ruin his reputation and ability to earn an income. I found the titles of all the chapters to be entertaining, and they encompassed the content in each chapter. This is a 5-star book that is easy to read with humor, excellent character development, and realistic family dynamics. I remember the supporting characters that appear from Talbott’s book The Goddess Seeker, but this book is able to work as a standalone novel as well. I found the ending of this family drama to be perfect.