The Menu By Steven Manchester

Blessed with a high emotional IQ, Phinn Reed enters the world with the promise of finding his soul mate. With heaven’s memories erased, his romantic quest teaches him that the heart often sees clearer than the eyes—and that not everyone has ordered the same items from The Menu. Evidence that love stories come in many different forms, The Menu is a spiritual journey involving more than just a man and a woman; it is a modern-day tale that reaches far beyond the boundaries of reason. The Menu

Steven Manchester î 1 SUMMARY


I apologize in advance because I know I'm going to fall short with my review because I won't be able to find the right words for this powerful read.

If you know me, you know that I am a HUGE fan of this author. I have said in the past, that he hits his books out of the park. But this book! THIS BOOK! He hit it to Heaven!!! I have also said that I consider his books to be classics, but THE MENU is so much more.

I am not going to reiterate the synopsis but recap the story as a whole.

We are all handed a menu before we enter the world. It is the choices we make that will dictate our lives, both good and bad. Even if we choose wrongly, it's what we do with that choice. But there are 2 staples on that menu that we should all choose and that is love and kindness.

I have never reread a book. However, I can honestly say, I will with THE MENU. I highlighted so many meaningful passages for when I need to be reminded when life may hit a trying time.

Who should read this book? EVERYONE!!!! Those that are entering adulthood, those that are facing difficult moments, and those that need to be uplifted. This is the perfect book to give to family and friends that are facing tough times when words don't seem adequate.

THE MENU is an inspirational fictional story that will bring smiles to your face, tears to your eyes, and leave an imprint on your heart and soul that will last for your remaining days!!!! The Menu A read that will leave you feeling uplifted. I loved the story of Phinn and Maddie. It is a story of love, faith, and hope. A very touching read. The Menu The Menu by Steven Manchester came into my life as the fortuitous result of a contest win, and I couldn't wait to immerse myself after reading so many positive accolades. Admittedly, this is not a book that I would typically choose, but I believe that it was placed in my path to serve a purpose, and a reminder of the powerful spiritual journey upon which we all embark.

Phinn Reed enters the world having chosen from a menu of life choices, with the caveat that each choice made will come with a price attached. Struggling with the realization that some choices are beyond his control, Phinn embarks upon his journey, finding a soulmate in Maddie. What follows is a beautiful love story, choices made, and the deep connection between the earthly and the spiritual. Recommended.

Thanks to Steven Manchester for the gift of this lovely and affecting read. The Menu This is a book about choices, both good and bad choices. Before his birth, Phinn Reed is given The Menu and chooses the life he is about to experience. He is looking for his soulmate. This is the story of how he deals with his life and the consequences that come with his choices.

I find this a difficult book to summarize as I don’t want to give anything away and it truly has to be read to get the full meaning. Steven Manchester has been one of my favorite authors for a long time. This book did not disappoint. This author’s words are beautifully crafted. He is a master storyteller.

I devoured this one, reading late into the night. It’s filled with emotions and tugs on all the heartstrings. I read the last couple of chapters through blurred vision because of all the tears.

Another book to add to my all time favorites list. This is a book that will stick with me long after I've read the last page.

The Menu I am very disappointed in this book. All the hype made me think I was in for a great story, but from the beginning I couldn’t really connect. The opening premise is far-fetched, but this is fiction. Then the unbiblical theology included in the story raised a red flag. I thought this was Christian fiction but it contained too much drinking of alcohol, which didn’t further the plot, plus private physical relations I don’t care to read about—keep it off the page and let the reader understand. I do appreciate that the characters chose to wait this time until married, but details are not needed. I finally had to quit reading because the novel seemed unhealthy for my mind and spirit. The author does create realistic characters and makes the setting feel authentic, but that wasn’t enough for me to engage with a powerful story. If you prefer clean fiction, this is not for you. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own. The Menu

Life is made up of choices. Steven Manchester tells of living the best life we can after choices are made. This is a love story we can all identify with, with its ups, downs, pain and the greatest rewards of all.

THE MENU by Steven Manchester is a tale of love, of faith in living and choosing to embrace our choices to the fullest. One man will learn the power and joy of love when he finds his soulmate as he also learns to let go of the pain of the consequences of past choices made.

Before his earthly birth, Phinn was promised soul-deep love by a greater power. What Phinn learns is that he will be tested, betrayed and his heart will fear a lifetime of loneliness unless he chooses to move forward. Mattie was not on his menu for the “perfect” woman to love, but like so many choices we make, sometimes it’s the ones we overlook that are truly exactly what we need to feed our heart and soul.

The beauty of Steven Manchester’s warm and heartfelt words give hope to anyone who has chosen from the menu of life and not liked the bitterness they found. If we simply look down the menu again, we can add the sweetness to create a balance in our hearts. His characters are simple, human and one can feel the love they are desperate to share. They have been hurt, they have insecurities and issues of trust, but when the MENU is placed in front of them again, they have opened their hearts to trying something new, prepared to devour it all.

A powerful, yet simply told romance of faith restored and love grown and lives shared. The Menu The action in this novel is slow and methodical. The purpose of the book seems to be more to cause readers think about living life rather than entertain. It contains some thought provoking messages: leave the world a better place than you found it, make the most of your time on earth, you can overcome any bad childhood experiences, be the unique you God created you to be as no one else can.

This book is not a theological commentary on life and I think any spiritual messages it contains need to be held loosely. Evangelical Christians may take issue with several concepts in the book, such as spirit existence and conversation with God before birth and the appearance on earth of the spirits of people after they have died. The characters assure the reader there is no eternal punishment. Phinn advocates God's unconditional love and cannot believe in such punishment “...if we break certain rules or wander off the right path...” (2296/7300) Any punishment we experience is built in as consequences through our free will. (4545/7300) We determine our own punishment by the life we live. (4872/7300) It was no surprise to me that Phinn could not shake the fear of being punished. (4926/7300) His fictional character knew nothing of the saving work of Jesus Christ.

This novel is a dive into how we live life, being willing to choose the possibility of love while being willing to face the agony of death. It is thought provoking and encourages us to live every moment to its full. Evangelical Christians may find some of the spiritual messages it contains a bit disconcerting.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The Menu I have read several books by Mr. Manchester. One common theme throughout all of the books is what life Mr. Manchester infuses into his characters. So much that they transform from just characters in a story to people that you can relate to. Mr. Manchester is a prolific writer.

The book starts out with God speaking to Phinneas Michael Reed aka Phinn. He let's him pick all of the different human traits like love, faith, etc. Although, God lets him know he will have to take the bad with the good.

Phinn is born into the world. We see him grow up from a baby, teen, young adult, to a grandfather. Throughout his life, Phinn is tested. Yet, he is not alone. He meets Mr. Tetreault and his wife, Maddie.

Mr. Tetreault is like the physical form of God. He helps to guide Phinn with words of wisdom. For example, when Phinn first meets Mr. Tetreault. He tells him We become the company we keep.

Later in life, at different moments Mr. Tetreault tells him All you can do is be honest with yourself and with God, and do your best to walk that truth every day.” “You’re going to stumble, Phinn. We all do. But have some faith that you’re not alone in your walk.”


“Some people live an entire lifetime in one moment, Phinn,” Mr. Tetreault whispered. “It’s what you make of it.” He looked hard into Phinn’s eyes. “Don’t waste another moment.”

The Menu is just what my soul was craving. I felt more rejuvenated while reading this book. God is great. I recommend everyone read this book.
The Menu 'Gently and lovingly, God wrapped his arm around Phinn's shoulder. This is your life. Order whatever you wish, but keep in mind----whatever you choose to taste, you have to finish. He told Phinn before sending him into the world.'

I have such mixed emotions about this book. It really made me think about the stages of our lives, and I found Steven Manchester's concept interesting. He shows Phineas Reed in a conversation with God before he was born, and Phineas is given a chance to choose what his life will be like. I believe that life begins at conception and that there is eternal life, but being able to choose how our life will play out???

The Menu offers a realistic portrayal of Phin's life, and we see him in joy and sorrow, in acceptance and denial. I also enjoyed that Phin writes poetry to help him cope and this poetry alone makes this book worth reading. The Menu has a beautiful love story that will appeal to romance lovers, and it proves that Maddie and Phi were truly meant to be together. It also confirms that through it all, in the good and the bad, we are never alone, and it suggests that our connections do not end with our physical death.

Steven Manchester is a new-to-me author and I am impressed with his writing skills. He has written an intriguing book, but I must warn that there are also several scenes of sexual intimacy between this couple. They aren't overly graphic but I mention this for those who prefer to imagine these acts instead of read them. Swear words and drinking alcohol are also a part of the plot and these are also a detriment to readers who prefer clean, Christian fiction.

I voluntarily accepted a digital copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. These are my own thoughts. The Menu This is one of those books that will give you something to think about and maybe question what you believe.

The story starts with Phinn having a conversation with God about what he wants to experience on earth as a human and God let him know that life cannot be all good things, that there are some tribulations that you have to experience to appreciate the good things that happen. It is presented as a menu that he chooses his desires/wishes for his life. I thought that was a good analogy because who wouldn't choose all of the good things in life to experience? But do we appreciate those things if we do not have to go through some challenging times to get to the good times? I think probably not because if everything in life came easily we wouldn't appreciate what we have or what it took to get to that stage in our life.

There are mentors for Phinn along the way including a young boy that tells it like it is without any hesitation. As they say, out of the mouths of babes. Sometimes the answer is the simplest thing or thought and we tend to overthink or put too much pressure on ourselves to create the perfect outcome.

I appreciated the honest feelings that are portrayed throughout the book and that Phinn struggled with events at different times in his life. I think most people will be able to relate to his experiences, maybe not specific ones but how he acts and reacts to his life.

Pick up this book next time you want to be inspired and reflective at the same time. We give this book 5 paws up. The Menu