Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rare Bird by Anna Whiston-Donaldson

   I sometimes wonder what it would be like to lose a child.  Would I be strong enough to handle that kind of pain?  How does God show up and comfort parents who are living though this nightmare?  I was interested in reading this story because I too have a 12-year-old son.  While I have not experienced a deep loss, I desire to know others stories to increase my awareness and compassion for those who are grieving.  It is difficult to write a review on a book like this because I can't critique a person's experience.  Instead, I can only comment on the way the story way written.

What will you find in this book? Honesty.  Authentic heart-wrenching thoughts and feelings this mother experienced during the first year after her son's death.  The mood continually switches back and forth between feelings of bitterness and hope, which I suppose is normal.  Anna shares openly how this loss has affected her relationships with her daughter, husband, friends, and neighbors.

The one thing that I found shocking was her use of foul language.  While I certainly don't judge her for thinking or using these words, I didn't find it tasteful to put them in print.  We're not talking about mild language either...these are the big dogs.  At least 15 cuss words spelled out and scattered throughout the book.  Maybe these words were included to support "authenticity", but I felt they were unnecessary and it resulted in me disconnecting from the story.

I would recommend this book with caution to those who want to understand the types of thoughts and feelings that a grieving mother may experience.  While there are strong threads of bitterness, Anna also offers glimpses of hope and comfort.  Anyone who reads this book will be moved with compassion toward those going through this type of loss, and will be reminded to treasure each and every day with their loved ones.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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