Sustainer’s Smile (Book Review)

I received a complimentary ecopy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
  • Author: Erika Mathews
  • Releases: October 21st
  • Series: Truth from Taerna (Book 4)
  • Synopsis: Appalled to learn that a “Lightener” has arrived in town, Liliora devoted herself to prayer and action on behalf of the preborn (and born) children in her community.

My blogger friend Vanessa Hall invited me to the Honor Life Challenge (blog/Instagram tour). This is a pro-life event with specific daily prompts in honor of preborn lives.

Scripture Connection

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,

for the rights of all who are destitute.

Speak up and judge fairly;

defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Prov. 31:8-9

Spiritual Themes

The novel focuses heavily on the sanctity of life, as well as justice for the unborn. Additionally, relationship with Adon Olam (Hebrew for “Eternal Lord,”) is central to the plotline. I SO enjoyed reading about characters who are actively seeking, and waiting on, God. What an excellent representation of our faith!

What I Liked

This is a title that I really liked, so this is one of those instances where I have the delight of identifying the many things I enjoyed.

  • There are two sweet poems/songs repeated throughout. Excellent messages, both of them.
  • Mathews addresses the common (pro-abortion) argument that it’s not okay to take care of the preborn, because there are children living in poverty. I think she does an excellent job addressing this!
  • I bookmarked many sections, throughout, that resound with truth!
  • The family dynamics are worth mentioning. Liliora’s family members love, respect, and support one another, CONSTANTLY encouraging each other in the Lord!
  • The book was easy to “get into.” I was excited from the time I saw the introductory verses and references to the names of God. Plus, I could tell by the front matter that Mathews had spent some time with her worldbearing.
  • Without offering spoilers, I’ll say that some of the friendship moments really resonated with my own experiences of changing friendships.
  • As someone with a history of reading books for the romance, I was really impressed with how engaging the plotline was— and not a drop of romance.
  • I appreciated the thematic emphasis on abortion, which is really not common in fiction, particularly this sub-genre.


This is definitely a “mature” read, due to the thematic content (abortion), as well as a very emotional one.

No romance; Unplanned pregnancy is, of course, a theme, but there really isn’t any sexual content.


Highly recommend! However, I do advise discretion for younger readers. I think that, for children who are ready to be introduced to the topic of abortion (or already have been), this is a FANTASTIC choice.

Published by Stephaniesninthsuitcase

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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