It's a bit uncomfortable in the beginning, because the reader is a fly on the wall during a custody mediation that doesn't go well, and those kinds of confrontations always distress me. But the story is so compelling and well written that I was hooked. Usually I like lots of action and suspense in my reads, but despite this being "tame" by my "usual" standards, I was held in suspense wondering how it was all going to work out.
The characters were well drawn and believable, and the conflict so well depicted, I felt fully invested in seeing things work out for these two disparate women, and for Charli, the "prize" they all were fighting for. I found Angel to be sweet and brave, and Marita to be charming. Charli was perfect as the tween just starting to stretch her wings of rebellion. I though Jim was a jerk, and I hoped fervently that he would figure things out without hurting those around him too much.
Finally, I'm not a big fan of being preached at in books, and while the theme of church and faith was strong, it was deftly handled so that I never once felt like this was a lecture disguised as a novel. Very well done.
If you enjoy a clean, character driven read with just the right amount of angst and interpersonal struggle, you'll enjoy Casting the First Stone.