Manuela’s ARC Review of “Once to Die” by T.S. Epperson

By: Manuela Soares

“Faith is what everyone needs, John. It is the only thing that allows any of us to make it through.” Father Alex, Paperback edition, pg.44.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this one when I started reading it. It sounded really good and it’s not something that I would typically pick up, so I went out on a limb. It’s a slow-paced book that can feel like it’s dragging sometimes, but it turns out to be pretty good. For me, this is a surprise book in that, I felt intrigued but uncertain and it turned out to have some very poignant and insightful aspects that make it worth reading. Yes, this does contain heavy Catholic/Christian themes but honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. There is one scene that got me a little heated toward the beginning, but it doesn’t detract from the story.

This follows Perry, a young man who, through no fault of his own, has spent the majority of his life living on the streets with his father, and how he survives the perils of homelessness. His story is connected to Father John, a local priest who is questioning his life and the role he’s chosen to play. Their connection leads them down a tricky path where they end up finding the answers they want and need.

It’s a semi-realistic and empathetic view of humanity and how people handle the trials and tribulations of life. This book probably isn’t for everyone, but if you go into it with an open mind, it’s a well-written novel containing some great bits that may leave you contemplating things.

A big thank you to T.S. Epperson and R&R Book Tours for a digital & physical ARC copy to read and review.

This review is also posted on Fathoms Amidst the Lines, the FATL Bookstagram, and Goodreads.

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