Saturday, July 9, 2016

They Danced On *Book Review*

Have you ever read a book and felt like you wanted to meet the characters?  That is exactly how I felt after finishing this book.  I wanted to hand out with the Darling family at one of their weekly family dinners.  I felt like I would be welcomed with open arms and would fit right in.  This book includes family problems, illness, and lots of forgiveness.   This book does not have a fairy tale ending, but what real life family does?  One of my favorite parts was when the mom was talking about grief...."Maybe that was the worst of it: unpredictability.  There was no way of knowing when it would strike, or when it would release you to happiness.  It was a cruel and arbitrary thing.  No, there was nothing linear about grief at all."

Here are some questions and answers from the author that I really enjoyed!

What do you hope readers will take away from the story?
I hope they’ll come away with a deeper understanding of addiction and what it does to a person, and what hope there is. In the months to come, I’ll be writing some articles and guest blog posts about this issue. I would also love to help people move away from a facile and formulaic understanding of what God is like: that he’s an easily-analyzed being who hates unrighteousness and dispenses favor to the faithful. Not only is that understanding an
incomplete one, but it’s also unsatisfying. Knowing God on a deeper level means things get complicated, less black-and-white. But they’re infinitely more satisfying.

Does your job as a nurse influence your writing? If so, how?
I suppose it does in this way: I see such a panorama of human suffering and triumph. Not just physically, but all day long, I brush up against dysfunctional families, failing marriages, people bewildered by life; struggling to live life on life’s terms the best they can manage. But I also see wonderful things: marriages that have thrived for decades; sweet, sacrificial love; bravery and kindness and wisdom in my patients. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new from someone I take care of. It’s all grist for the mill, fodder for stories. There is a character or two in each of my books based on patients I’ve had. 

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my review.  Opinions are mine.

Where The Light Gets In Book Review

I really enjoy books about moms and daughters, so I was very excited to read this book by Kimberly Williams-Paisley.  You may recognize her from her Father of the Bride fame, or the fact that she is married to Brad Paisley, or if you were a Nashville television show fan like me, she had a small recurring role for a while.  Now she is an author of this wonderful memoir about her life and her mom who was diagnosed with an early onset dementia called Primary Progressive Aphasia (or PPA).

This book is full of stories of Kimberly growing up, her parents, siblings, and a mix of good and bad things that happened to her.  One of my favorite parts included Kimberly talking about seeing her therapist...

"Everybody I've ever met has had some sort of issue with one or both of their parents.  It's what keeps therapists employed.... Karen and I didn't harp too much on the past. We talked a lot about moving forward.  Turn anger into compassion, and fear into faith, she told me... For a long time, it was my mantra."

I do not believe a perfect child/parent relationship exists.  All relationships are hard especially when feelings, emotions, and actions are put into play.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading how Kimberly has started to come to terms with her mother's diagnosis.  She is a better daughter, wife, mom, and friend with all she has learned through this.  I am thankful she wrote this book and will definitely pass in along to friends whose parents are diagnosed with any illness.

*I received this book in exchange for my review.  Opinions are mine.*