Monday, November 23

Book Review: "The Silent Gift", by Michael Landon, Jr. and Cindy Kelley

The Silent Gift
by Michael Landon, Jr. and Cindy Kelley

The Silent Gift is the remarkable story of a mother's unconditional love for her son, and the lengths to which she goes to protect him from a world, and a father, who doesn't understand him. Her own past haunts her, and she vows that her son will never know the same the heartbreak and betrayal she suffered as a child.

The book opens with the harrowing account of Jack's birth. Flash forward: 1930's America is reeling from the Great Depression, and Jack's mother, Mary, struggles to put food on the table and clothes on her son's back. She has always known that Jack is special, but when their circumstances lead to the revelation of her son powerful gift, their lives are changed forever.

Jack's mother is a character I can relate to. At times she is plagued by doubt, and at other times she is all but certain she is doing the right thing. Who can she trust? And whose motivations are less than charitable? Mary isn't always right: she misjudges many of the people she encounters, and she makes mistakes along the way. But even when she makes the wrong choice, even when things go horribly awry, she never gives up her mission to protect, at all costs, the son she loves. She desperately wants Jack to be accepted, and for others to realize how special he is (even without his "gift"). Like our Heavenly Father, Mary is willing to sacrifice everything, including her freedom and her life, for the child she loves.

After reading the publisher's blurb for The Silent Gift, I expected a sappy-happy story dripping with sugar. I was partly wrong.  This heartwarming historical novel is filled with emotional tension, suspense, and true-to-life characters, faults and all. The authors succeed in showing us a snapshot of life in this decade and bringing history to life. I couldn't help but notice the similarities of Depression-era America to our current economic situation.

I truly enjoyed The Silent Gift. When I can't resist the temptation to keep reading, and I ignore "real life" in order to stay "in" a story, I know I've found a good book. I even found myself worrying about Mary and Jack when I wasn't reading.

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me a free copy of The Silent Gift.  Just so you know, I only recommend books I would choose for myself. Too many books fill the bookstore and library shelves for me to waste your time reading bad fiction. If I didn't like it, I would tell you so. Mr. Landon and Ms. Kelley have penned a novel that is worth reading.

Counting my many blessings, including BOOKS,

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 (Msg)