Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mandy Reviews: Caught in the Winds by L. D. Wenzel

ISBN #: 978-1453647875
Page Count: 330
Copyright: 2010

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Morrie Schiller is a new philosophy student at an evangelical college in the Midwest. Try though he may, he just doesn't fit into the Christian campus scene. The girl he loves sees him only as a 'brother,' and he's in the crossfire as religious extremists rage against the school. Add to the mix, he's haunted by an obsession to become a Roman Catholic. Enter Jack Joplin, a mysterious stranger, offering a "new" philosophy, promising to 'transcend' religious conventionality. Morrie accepts and is catapulted into adventures that go beyond his wildest dreams. Time was when Morrie only wanted to meet a nice Christian girl and settle down as an ordinary evangelical. However, the Socratic dictum: 'Know Thyself' seems to be his sacred calling. Spiritual maturity comes only by passing through the refiner's fire.

Mandy's Review:


Cute. Nostalgic ... but not really a representation of the main character's life. Perhaps, it is, instead, a quiet idyllic representation of the silent, but ever-looming, background character and main spiritual battlefield, the college ... ?


A spiritual coming-of-age story for a naive, inexperienced student at an evangelical college. From his first day of school to his last, we watch Morrie grow out of his child-like awkwardness into, what should be, a young man's self-confidence.

Many events take place and happen to Morrie during his spiritual growth process: The loss of his first love, the meeting of a few new friends, the re-awakening of his Catholic desires, the loss of his virginity and several encounters with the Right Hand of God.

What will the end result be? Will Morrie finally know himself and what he wants?

Main Characters

Morrie - Easily susceptible to the influences of people and events around him. Socially awkward and unsure of how to handle himself. Falls in love WAY too easily and too often.

Tracy - A beauty who, in my opinion, uses her beauty and tears to get what she wants, when she wants, from Morrie. She doesn't mind spending time with him and leading him on as long as she doesn't have a boyfriend. Once she's dating someone, though, she forgets all about Morrie ... of course, he's stupid enough to wait on her and allow her to treat him like that, so what does that say about him?

Frank - He's somewhat of a zealot, but he plays a role in Morrie's college life. Although very different in their beliefs, Frank and Morrie come to terms with each other and have a unique friendship.

Jack - Coerces Morrie to open up his thought processes and teaches him how to doubt everything. Jack almost seems to be the embodiment of an evil spirit, or demon, that has entered Morrie's life simply to direct him away from the narrow, holy, path.

Crusader - Encourages Morrie's philosophical side, but with a Christian viewpoint. Crusader almost seems to be the embodiment of a holy spirit, or angel, that has entered Morrie's life to help him stay on the straight and narrow. He's not around often, but he does seem to be around right when Morrie needs him most.


I was not a big fan of this book. The story was written well, but ... I don't know. It did not resonate within me. I understood it, most of it, but the verbiage used was getting on my nerves a little.

First of all, the story was set in the mid-1990s. This is my era, so I was expecting to be swept away in memories. Did not happen. I don't know about you, but I do not recall people going around talking in proper grammar all the time.

I don't recall seeing one slang phrase in this book. Now, during philosophical discussions, I can understand proper grammar, but in every day speech? No, sir... sorry, but I don't believe it happens ... even among evangelical college students.

Then, the whole issue with how fast Morrie falls in love... Ridiculous. I mean, really? It seemed that as soon as a girl smiled at him, little Morrie's heart was pitter-pattering away in the fantasy realm of love. Give me a break! Hormones, I could've understood. Repressed sexual feelings, yes definitely. But falling in love with every girl who paid him the slightest bit of attention? I find that in only extremely inexperienced boys ... and it gets a little boring to read about.

So, did I like this book? Eh... parts of it, but I don't like it enough to recommend it to other readers. Apologies, Mr. Wenzel.


  1. From the author, L.D.Wenzel

    Thanks Mandy for reading my book and your honest review, even though it didn’t go so well for me. The details in your comments were accurate and fair. I can see where it wrong for you with your limits with “certain types” and how that overwhelmed the books many other themes.That you added that it was “well written” was appreciated. After a long string of very positive reviews (and one mediocre), yours is the first that was negative. Anyone interested in reading a positive review can go to Foreword Book Review:

    In addition, anyone interested in deciding for themselves but are unwilling to make an investment, they can download the first six chapters (Book 1) free by going to my website at It is available in pdf, Kindle, and the version for Nook/iPad.


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