"A Soldier Surrenders" by Susan Peek is an incredible story about Saint Camillus de Lellis, a great sinner of the 1500s who became a great saint. He is entirely human, very flawed, and thus easy to empathize with. His story is sure to inspire anyone who struggles with temptation and sin--and who among us doesn’t?!
With his pious mother dead, young Camillus follows in his soldier father’s footsteps, making many bad choices and even, for a time, siding with the Turks against the Christians. A tall, formidable man, Camillus is brought low by bad habits such as drinking, gambling, and brawling--becoming, in fact, a slave to his vices.
Due to the profound impact of his father’s death, Camillus attempts to change his life, but his hot temper and intense pride repeatedly thwart his efforts. Additionally, he is plagued by a mysterious ulcer that refuses to heal.
Besot by temptations and failures, Camillus is rejected and dismissed in shame from places where he attempts to build a life. A lesser man would give in to despair, but Camillus soldiers on and is shaped by the soul-shaking trials he endures.
At long last, after struggling to find his way alone in the world, Camillus realizes he’s not alone. He discovers that it takes humility to have true courage--the courage to surrender to God’s will.
As always, Peek knows how to keep readers hooked! She treats us to lively writing, entertaining situations, and crisp dialogue. "A Soldier Surrenders" is filled with action and drama and is perfect for ages fifteen and up. Peek’s novels are among the most worthy and inspiring I’ve ever read. I fervently recommend all her books and eagerly anticipate her new ones!