Assaulted by Joy is my first ARC that I am reviewing. What an exciting book! The question that was posed when I was asked if I would review this book...moreAssaulted by Joy is my first ARC that I am reviewing. What an exciting book! The question that was posed when I was asked if I would review this book was "Is this the perfect gift for the man in your life?" and I must answer with a resounding "YES!" I have already asked my husband if he would read it. But let me back up a little here. The author accepted Christ at the age of seven - (I love it when he says that this is where the story begins.) "When I walked down the aisle of a Baptist church as a boy to receive Christ as my Saviour, nobody told me that being a Christian is difficult, dangerous even. . .the closer you were to God, the happier you would be. The less you sinned and the more you followed God's Word, the more your life would be meaningful, happy, and complete. In my years as a follower of Christ, however, I've discovered that the opposite is often true. Don't get me wrong - the most ecstatic, victorious moments of my life resulted from having a relationship with Jesus, but so have the most aggravating and painful ones."*
His story, about his sometimes painful high school years (can everybody relate?), to college, losing a close friend, and meeting his wife and starting a family is engaging, humorous, in many instances I caught my self shaking my head in agreement - and is full of insight and wisdom that touched my life. I would like to share two of those nuggets here.
From chapter 3: What we don't realize is that we teach one another wisdom even when we hurt each other. We learn how to love in the midst of brokenness and imperfection. Those who hurt us sometimes teach us far more than those who love us. Sometimes they're even the same person. Those we care about have the greatest capacity to hurt us. Love creates the possibility of pain like nothing else. It's just like our relationship with God.*
From chapter 6: We could only make the best decision in a situation where there was no obvious choice. He told us that either choice involved potential guilt and loss. We might have to ask forgiveness from God regardless of what we chose.*
Now -for the question about a perfect gift for my husband. I would hope that this book would bring him a little closer to accepting Christ. He has been on the journey for awhile now and I have hope that letting him see someone else's walk with Christ (other than mine..) would open his heart even more.
I highly recommend this read for where ever you are in your personal journey - *any quotes from this book are from an Advanced Reader's Copy and may not reflect the final published version. (less)
I listened to this book on audio tape and fell in love with the narrator's voice, Tom Stechschulte. The book was so good, that about 1/2 way through,...moreI listened to this book on audio tape and fell in love with the narrator's voice, Tom Stechschulte. The book was so good, that about 1/2 way through, I checked out the written version from the library so I could enjoy it whenever I was able. Well, after a few pages, I missed the narrator so much that I returned the book and continued with the audio version. I could just hear him saying "It's okay, it's o-kay." The Road tells the story of a father and son in a post-apocalyptic world. The bond between them is evident from the beginning. The hope that the father is able to instill in the son in this seemingly hopeless and dire environment is amazing. Though place names are not mentioned, they are following a map, and it seems they are going through the mountains to the ocean - so I pictured heading west to the Pacific. Along the way they are able to stay one step ahead of the 'bad guys' and with the boy's insistence, help others whenever they are able. People are few and far between, and food and supplies are even scarcer. With every step traveled, every tin of food found or lost, every imagined and unimagined danger, I was kept on the edge of my seat. Travel with the boy and his Papa on their search for any good that is left in the world as the continue to carry The Light. I just discovered that this book has been made into a movie to be released this year! This will be a must see for me! (less)
This was the most original book that I have read in quite awhile. The narrator of the story, Susie, is the murder victim. We see her family, her frien...moreThis was the most original book that I have read in quite awhile. The narrator of the story, Susie, is the murder victim. We see her family, her friends, and even her murderer, Mr. Harvey, in the days and years after her death through her eyes.
She leads us down that road as her friends and her 'crush' Ray try to understand and come to terms with her murder. As her family disintegrates, she begins to see them as individuals - even as those around them on Earth only see them as shadows of Susie.
Her father is convinced he knows who committed the crime and one night he follows a light into a neighbor's cornfield, only to be clobbered with his own baseball bat by some innocent high school kids. This is the last straw for Susie's mother. Her mother's loneliness is only amplified with Susie's death and she seeks comfort away from her husband. This eventually leads her to the other side of the country where she tries to forget.
Grandma Lynn moves in with her dad, brother Buckley and sister Lyndsey to try to help them cope with Susie's loss and their abandonment by their mother. The police have pretty much told the family that they have no leads and they are closing the investigation so Lyndsey decides to go looking for evidence herself. She watches Mr. Harvey's house, and one afternoon when he leaves, she breaks in and actually finds some evidence. She barely gets out of the house in time, but Mr. Harvey has seen her so knows that he needs to leave.
Come and read this book and follow her family as they move from her murder and their isolation as they come together year's later and are finally able to say out loud 'Susie is not coming home again.'
This novel was wonderfully written and gives us a picture of one little girl's heaven, which, while not always joyous, is stable and safe. Susie's heaven allows her to mature and move on in much the same way that her family does.