Moments of Truth, by Stewart Bellus

This series of thematically linked short fiction explores moments of crisis and possibility from a humanist point of view. Many stories revolve around hot-button issues like racism, abortion, the death penalty, pedophilia, and euthanasia, but this is not a political screed. Instead, the focus of each tale is on everyday people facing challenging moments in a caring and honest way.

The stories are varied: a lawyer confronts racist acts of local police; a teacher weighs his future against exposing a coach he suspects is a pedophile; a pro-life minister struggles with his daughter’s abortion; a prosecutor opposed to the taking of life chooses whether to pursue the death penalty; and more. Each of these tales revolve around “moments of truth” that might not end in a comfortable way, but depict difficult turning points that make up the complexities of real life.

The theme in Moments of Truth derives from the author’s novel, The Villa, an intense character study of young soldiers on a death-defying mission who suddenly face a moment of truth. In these short stories, Stewart Bellus creates the same tense atmosphere in a wide range of settings that will lead readers to ponder: how would I react?

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