The Book of Joy

A Christian Novel That Was Too Real for Christian Publishers to Publish

Fiction - Religious Theme
438 Pages
Reviewed on 11/13/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Monique and Robert combine to be a new dynamic voice for today’s Christ followers. Currently professors at multiple online universities, they have managed to work together throughout their serving careers. They’ve presented at national and international conferences; worked in outpatient, correctional, and inpatient settings; and ran their own thriving private practice. Monique has degrees in Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Counseling while working towards her Doctorate in Practical Theology. This is her second published book. Robert is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker finishing his Doctorate in Social Work. Thunder and Eagle are their two awesome, homeschooled children. They share a passionate love of Jesus Christ!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

When I pick up a novel, the first thing I look for is how well the author develops motivation in the protagonist. The central question is: what drives the protagonist and how does the author allow it to move the plot forward? In The Book of Joy: A Christian Novel That Was Too Real for Christian Publishers to Publish, Monique and Robert Jesiolowski explore motivation in a very skillful way, creating a powerful female protagonist in Joy Dubois, a character that is as deeply flawed as she is compelling. Her relationship with Carson has come to mean the whole world to her, a world that gave her stability and happiness through every moment she’d spent with him, including their first dance and the time spent with his grandma. Then she experienced betrayal and it was very painful remembering him and accepting that he loved another woman. It is the crisis point that makes her question everything she’d believed in, especially her trust in God who allowed such a fate.

The novel follows Joy Dubois as she moves to a different town in an effort to heal her heart and to rebuild her life. The encounters with other people and her shift in perspective are some of the elements that make her mature, and her understanding of God goes through a new kind of paradigm shift. This is a very inspirational story that explores strong religious themes. The authors explore how betrayal in love can lead people to blame themselves and to lose their self-worth. Joy’s journey is a faith-deepening one, faith in who she is and in God, one that is forged in the crucible of pain and through her contact with survivors. The Book of Joy is filled with pathos and while entertaining readers it offers a lot of material for thought and reflection. It is intelligently plotted, cleverly written, and filled with powerful insights. I loved the exquisite prose, the unique way in which the authors explore the thoughts of the protagonist, and the deft handling of the psychological conflict that dominates the entire narrative.

Rabia Tanveer

The Book of Joy: A Christian Novel That Was Too Real for Christian Publishers to Publish by Monique and Robert Jesiolowski is the story of a woman’s journey towards rekindling her faith in God. Joy Dubois is a faithful Christian woman. She is young, attractive, successful and has a wonderful fiancé whom she loves a lot. However, when her fiancé breaks off their engagement, Joy is shocked beyond words. Lost and hopeless, she has no idea if God is still with her or not. Desperate for a distraction and to change the course of her life, she starts working as an advocate for rape survivors. Unbeknownst to her, this is a path that showed all the ways she was looking in the wrong direction all this time. Sooner than she anticipated, she realizes that God always had a plan for her and that it wasn’t what she wanted before. So Joy embarks a new journey with an open mind and an open heart where she listens to what God says.

This is a story that speaks to the reader on a very personal level. All of us have a moment in our lives where we think that God has abandoned us, that He doesn’t care about us, but time and time again, He shows us that He is always there. God has a plan for all of us; it is just that we don’t know what it is. Joy is a character in which you can easily see yourself. She is you when she loses hope, when she is fumbling for guidance or a place where she feels everything is all right. She works hard, she hardens her heart and, in the end, she realizes that she is where she is meant to be. The authors took the story very seriously, they crafted it with love and affection and it is apparent in the way it is written. I loved every aspect of this story, from start to finish!

Christian Sia

The Book of Joy: A Christian Novel That Was Too Real for Christian Publishers to Publish by Monique and Robert Jesiolowski is an inspiring and beautifully written story with strong Christian themes, a story that follows Joy Dubois as she journeys from heartbreak to rebuilding her life. When Carson enters her life, she believes her world is complete. Then she finds out Carson loves another girl and the betrayal comes as a heavy blow in her life. She is haunted by memories of their first dance competition, their first date, and the moments spent with his grandmother, and even listening to “Wake Me Up.” Unable to understand why he could break her heart this way, she questions the God she’s always believed in, for how can He allow her to feel whole and then, for no reason, break her life apart? She leaves home to rebuild her life in a new city, working as an advocate for survivors. Can she find the path to healing and faith?

I loved this story and the way the authors handle character development. The character of Joy Dubois will speak strongly to readers, especially those who have loved and lost. The authors explore the themes of love, faith, and music, and I enjoyed how skillfully these themes are written. When Joy loses Carson, she is revisited by her old fear, the fear that she isn’t good enough for anyone and the authors do an impeccable job in demonstrating how betrayal can lead to low self-esteem and self-doubt. The use of music to set the mood and to explore the inner world of the protagonist is another unique element of this novel and music fans will have a lot to savor as they follow the story. The Book of Joy is written in gorgeous prose and filled with vivid descriptions and a stream of consciousness that plunges the reader into the depths of the protagonist’s mind. It is as engaging as it is inspiring.