Captivating story--takes you through the gamet of emotions. And all that matters is in the end, God is always there.
From my review on Epinions:
Are you ready to branch out in your Christian reading?
If your answer is yes, perhaps Catherine Palmer's 356 pages of unique, thought-provoking writing is the perfect read for you. If you decide to join her in this adventure, get ready for a rocky road with lots of jarring bumps.
First, you'll join Julia, a 37-year-old stay-at-home mother whose husband has been a youth pastor for many years, but suddenly wonders if he should move his family from Santa Fe, NM to Wyoming so he can pastor a church. Julia's daughters, Jessica & Heather are both in their teens and always experiencing one drama or another. And Julia, who was a missionary kid in Africa from the age of 7 till she returned to the States to attend college, has just discovered she's pregnant again...with twins. Six months along (She didn't realize she was with child until she was at four months), in fact. As if all that's not enough, Julia gets a call from Don & Olive Mossman, her parents, telling her that her baby sister Debbie is in the hospital and has Anorexia. Debbie is 34 years old, single, and living in Bolivar, MO. She works as a buyer for a chain of clothing stores. Her parents, who have a strained relationship with their two oldest children, beg Julia to break the bad news to her younger brother Peter, a 36-year-old mailman who wants to be a painter. Unbeknownst to his parents and siblings, Peter's wife Maria recently left him, taking his baby son Angelo along with her. She never wants to speak to him again.
Now that you know everyone, I'll outline just a bit of the plot, for a taste. Julia & Peter decide to leave New Mexico and go to Missouri to be there for their sister. Debbie is in bad shape, in the latter stages of Anorexia. The three siblings reminisce in their time together at the hospital, and as they do, Peter's bitterness and anger toward his parents and their mission, Julia's resentment over always concentrating on others and never on herself, and Debbie's denial of her condition all come to a head. All three of the siblings feel they were abandoned in a sense, when their parents shipped them off to the horrors of boarding school every year. Peter also struggles with many doubts about his childhood faith, while Julia and Debbie still hold fast to theirs. A unique feature in this book is the large number of first person accounts of Africa and the work there, and you have a chance to experience adventures from the perspectives of all of the Mossman kids and one of the parents. The events and details immerse you so deeply and are so authentic and realistic, you'll truly feel transported to Africa to share the journey with them. Perhaps more remarkable is the fact that many of these recollections are seen through eyes of children, and Catherine portrays the inner workings of a child's mind perfectly.
Since I spent all of my teenage years traveling as a missionary kid with my family here in the U.S., I can offer you a testimony to this book's realism. The healing power of telling the truth and sharing your heart with your family, even when sometimes it brings pain, is a hard but important force to face. I personally loved my years as a missionary kid, meeting new people, seeing new places, winning souls to Christ, and having the time of my life. But my brothers and some of my closest missionary kid friends didn't share my love for the work. Like the Mossman kids, some of them resented the time and attention they lost because of the ministry. Missionary life is far from easy or comfortable. It requires many sacrifices, many hardships, and a ton of faith. It's truly a calling that the whole family has to answer to together, or else anger and bitterness will likely creep in at some point. In the "Acknowledgements" section at the end of the book, Catherine tells her readers that this was the book of her heart. Even though the characters and plot aren't real, it is a story decidedly inspired and fueled by her life, and the passion and fury that results makes for a very engaging read. So, grab a box of Kleenexes, the phone (in case you suddenly get the urge to share some long-buried feelings with someone you love), and "The Happy Room," and settle in for a story like none you've ever read before.
Catherine Palmer is one of my favorites so I was looking forward to this book, knowing it was not her typical book. I picked it up 6 or 7 times and tried to finish it, but was never successful. I enjoy reading books that make me think and that take me out of the box that is my comfort zone, but I found this book to be on the truly depressing side and a little boring. Maybe it was just not a good time for me to try and read this book, I may try it again at a later date, but at this point I can not recommend it. They format also drove me crazy.
Good book, worth reading.
Kept my interest throughout.
This says "Hardcover" but it has the same ISBN as the "Softcover" both are large print. (Sorry to put this under review section but there is nowhere to change this on the "edit book data" option)