Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Review of To Know You by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

This was an incredible read ... hard, challenging and also very intriguing, and inspiring. I love stories that feel real to my heart and this one ranks at the top for that.

Publisher's Blurb:
TNK coverJulia Whittaker’s rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.
Julia and Matt Whittaker’s son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds—and his liver—crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a “living liver” transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon’s time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.
But can Julia ask a young woman—someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with—to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she’s never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?
And what if she discovers in her own daughters’ lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she’s probably embarking on a fool’s errand—searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?
In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.

To be completely honest, I found the book a difficult read. While the story and plot were very enticing, the constant POV switches made it a challenge for me. The book is set up chronologically, based on a time clock. Therefore instead of POV changes lined up based on scenes, you find yourself whirling to a new plot thread based on the clock. There are also several flashbacks. Eventually, I did adjust to the transitions, but cannot say it was a smooth read for me.

That being said the powerful content of the story still bled through. There are many great characters, each with their own investment in the main plot of the sick boy, as well as their own individual plots that are compelling on their own. It is an immensely deep and invested read covering difficult topics such as infidelity, adoption, intimacy issues in marriage, and even more crucial, the concept of redemption and forgiveness. 

A great book - not a beach/weekend read. Check it out for yourself and download the first three chapters free from Shannon Ethridge's website.

Thanks to Booksneeze and Thomas Nelson for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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