When Alex Marshall left his stifling small town behind, he felt freedom for the first time in his life. Rejected by his conservative Christian hometown for his homosexuality, Alex becomes a successful lawyer, active in the gay community and committed to his partner, Scott. But tragedy strikes in the form of AIDS, as it rips away Alex's dignity and crushes his body. He is near the end of his life.
Annie Whitley, Alex's sister, is faced with a difficult choice when a call from Alex comes out of the blue. Should she travel to care for her estranged brother -- who represents the lifestyle she's been taught to hate and fear -- or stay away, deny him, and follow what the town demands? Choosing Alex, she begins to see how her decision impacts the entire community.
And You Invited Me In addresses the moral dilemma that many face: how can people accept or even tolerate a way of life so different from anything they have been taught to believe is acceptable? This interwoven tale speaks of love, compassion, and true belief, as a family reconciles and a town comes to understand the truth of its faith, and is resonant with the hymn of equality. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. -- Matthew 25:35
Cheryl Moss Tyler holds two master's of education degrees in special education and human development counseling from Vanderbilt University. She is currently a licensed professional school counselor and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her website at www.AndYouInvitedMeIn.com.
Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words (January 8, 2008)
"As an avid reader, I found this book to be highly enjoyable. Mrs. Tyler seems to have captured what it must be like to be a gay man living with AIDS in a fundamentalist society." -- Mike Myrick, pastor from Nashville
"And You Invited Me In is a powerful story of unconditional love and grace. This story grabbed me and reminded me of all the emotional roads that...gays and lesbians experience every day.... I wept as I recalled the many people who have crossed our paths in ministry who are the Scotts, Alexes, Annies, and Samuels. It is my prayer that God will use this real-life story to break all our hearts and cause us...to realize what really matters in life." -- Todd Ferrell, president of The Evangelical Network