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The Boys Upstairs

(Father Jay #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Jay Farrell, a disabled priest, has begun housing homeless boys in his rectory. Once a street kid himself, he was riding the rocket-train to a lifetime in prison until the day he drove over a land mine in Iraq. Today he works at an inner-city parish, running a soup kitchen and struggling to manage an impoverished church.

With temperatures below zero and falling a few nights
ebook, 87 pages
Published December 3rd 2010 by Museit Up Publishing (first published December 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Susan Peek
I love this story! From the very first page I was drawn in and couldn't put it down. I mean, how can you not keep reading something that starts with: "Officer Kevin Farrell took three steps up the walkway before returning to the patrol car. His partner put down the window, and Kevin leaned in. 'Maybe this isn't a good idea.'" Why was the cop going up the walkway? Why did he return? Why wasn't it a good idea? I was instantly hooked, and it turned out to be one of those rare books that kept me up, ...more
Steven R. McEvoy
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I need to confess something before writing my review of this book. I enjoyed this book so much I read book three before writing the review. And currently I tend to alternate fiction and non-fiction. I chose a really short non-fiction to read between this book and book three. I really, really wanted to see where the story was going. Ok confessions aside time to review the book.

This book continues a short while after Bulletproof Vestments, Father Jay Farrell is a disabled priest. His brother is a
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You'll find more depth in The Boys Upstairs than most Christmas books you read. The boys upstairs, a ragtag group of street urchins taken in by Father Jay, create the occasion for Father Jay's brother, Kevin, a police officer, to re-evaluate his bitterness toward God.

The brothers' backstory provides depth, and a small cast of secondary characters enrich the story set at Christmas when Kevin brings three children to Father Jay's rectory doorstep.

Present realities intruded a little in my enjoyment
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An uplifting Christmas tale of transformation for two brothers: a priest who's a disabled war veteran and who takes in boys who are living on the streets and a police officer who's seen more than his share of holiday tragedies. Their own rough start in life leads them to find ways to be strong for others in crisis.
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story drew me right in, and I enjoyed it very much. It was heartwarming, and I fell in love with its characters. My heart broke for the homeless children and the priest caring for them with few resources.
Laura Colon
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
fantastic heartwarming story with lovely characters. This is a must-holiday read!
Manuel Alfonseca
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the best Christmas stories i have read. Deep and understanding. Not far behind the best one ever: Mt.1-2&Lk.1-2. ...more
Michael Mccollum
Recommend book to read

This book is an amazing book to read . It's about two brothers in different path dealing with kids who are either not wanted from their parents or have run away . From the beginning to the end . I was hoping that Jay and his little brother would be able to forgive each other . I'm also glad that one of the archangel gang made in appearance. Hope to see him and the rest of them in the next book in about to read
Julie Davis
Nov 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Christmas is a Time for Second Chances: Reviewing The Boys Upstairs
"Yeah, you've certainly changed." Kevin shoved aside his empty plate. "I remember when you would have been the kid bringing the knife into the church."

"Would you rather I spent the rest of my life in jail?"

"That's not what I would have rather had at all, and you know it."

Jay opened his hands. "You don't get it both ways. The thing that saved my conscience was the same thing that saved my soul."

Kevin shook his head.

"Please do
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it. Feel good book. Fast read.
Nikole Hahn
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Review:

This book is short and sweet. I was able to read it in one sitting because the book just filled me with joy.

Jay and Kevin are brothers who haven’t spoken to each other in a long time. Jay, a priest, found God in his time of need. Kevin, a cop, turned God away after all the terrible things he’s seen.

The brothers find each other again as Kevin brings a few homeless children to Jay’s church. Together, they help the various children get jobs, find homes, and overall just stay out of troubl
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Satisfying Christmas story

Two alienated brothers, one a cop furious with God, the other one a priest struggling to meet the overwhelming needs of an inner city parish, are brought together again by three homeless kids.

I grabbed this after reading the all-too-short story "Bullet-proof Vestments," and was not disappointed. More Father Jay stories, please!
Lin Holmes
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I, Ladybug Lin, am a certified Christmas Fan...I'm also a December baby...I got my happiest news on December 5, personal Independence Day...So yeah, Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year...anything dealing with it draws me much the way a moth is drawn to a flame.

Jane Lebak has created what I think, should be declared a classic here. While I was reading it, images kept popping into my head...images from a movie I'd seen on TV when I was a kid...images from a classic black and white
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The physically disastered brother is an agnostic soldier turned effective priest. The other brother is a cop who resents the possibility of a real god and has a partner who has seen God's workings. Between these camps is an impoverished parish and the throwaway kids whose lives are well worth saving from the streets, including the sudden addition of 3 little ones who keep escaping the system so that they can stay together. Real people. Real needs. Real hope for each. A tale well written and well ...more
lori weisman
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The boys keep Father Jay on his toes

Father Jay is a great character. He is quite inspirational. I get a feeling of calmness reading these books.
The boys upstairs make your heart break, make you laugh, cry & get frustrated. The book is all about relationships. Father Jay & the boys. Father Jay & his brother.
Looking forward to the next installment.
Patricia J West
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boys on the Edge

Good story! Short and sweet! I liked it, but it felt like a story cut short. Like meeting the requirement of a class essay--short. This story has a book inside it! I wanted more about the kids, about the almost couple. . .the emotions that were begging for more depth! Read it and demand more from the author!
Nov 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010-list
Initially, I was glad to see that this was a shorter novel, because I was reading it electronically in the days when the only device I had was an iPod Touch, my laptop, or my husband's iPad on the weekends. When I got to the end, though, I was disappointed that it wasn't was well-written, well-crafted, and well done.

Five stars and a high recommendation.
Karen J Hone
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is a good story, with real problems, real pain, and few answers. But it points to a real God with big shoulders who is there in tough situations, and whose answers are often good, overworked and overwhelmed people.
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-drama, fiction
I didn't know this was a Christmas story when I downloaded it. I think this is geared towards someone who is Catholic. It involves a priest and his cop brother and the children the priest has taken in to give food and shelter to. A bit too simplistic for me. I would not follow this series.
Barb Nifong
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book to read any time. Two brothers, one crippled war vet who became a priest, the other a cop who shuns God, must find a way to accept each other's views. It takes place at Christmas but could be appreciated any time.
Deb Salisbury
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read Jane Lebak's novella today. It is AMAZING. So beautiful I cried. Not sad, but powerful and wonderfully woven together. Wow!

Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poignantly, enriching Christian story.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great story, loved it.
Margaret A Register
Nice read

This captivating short story is well-written and well-edited. Not preachy, but truly inspirational. I enjoyed spending time with the rascals upstairs.
Marsha  Bernabe
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good!

This book had all the feels! very heartwarming story of a priest in a poor neighborhood and the lives he touches
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Boys Upstairs

Sweet, warm, gentle, good characters in a good story. Very nice Christmas tale with second chances all over the place.
Fern Boyle
rated it liked it
Dec 11, 2016
Drema Farley
rated it liked it
Dec 31, 2016
Jodie Stone
rated it liked it
Jul 13, 2019
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Jane Lebak is the author of Pickup Notes and eleven other books. She has four kids, three cats, two books in print, and one husband. She lives in the Swamp and spends her time either writing books or ejecting stink bugs from the house. She is pretty sure no one reads these author bios.

She is one of the bloggers for, a resource for writers in search of an agent or small press. She

Other books in the series

Father Jay (3 books)
  • Bulletproof Vestments (Father Jay, #1 )
  • A Different Heroism (Father Jay, #3)

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