Reviewed by Marilyn Tinnin
The True Story of an Unlikely Outcome with Honest and Practical Suggestions for Those Who Want to Be Supportive
By Darlene Arnold Gore and Meredith Gore Warf
As a breast cancer survivor myself, I think I am a good judge of books that would encourage someone who has received the big “C” diagnosis. It has been eight years, but I devoured this book in a weekend’s time identifying with every word. I told Charles, “I just wish I had had this book in 2006.” I also confess, “I wish I had written this book.” I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Darlene, who lives right down I-55 in Grenada, and her daughter, Meredith, who lives right here in Jackson, have put together the penultimate book for patients, caregivers, and those who love them. Filled with scripture as well as raw emotion, there is nothing sugarcoated or false in these pages. Let’s just be honest—Christians panic, too. Christians have moments when the sheer fear of the word “Cancer” temporarily eclipses every good promise and Bible verse they ever learned in Sunday School.
But the truth is precious. When the roots are deep, the soul finally settles down and remembers the source of strength and the fact that the Lord promised to walk through the valley, even the valley of the shadow of death with us. Darlene’s story is rich with such lessons. It is personal, and you will appreciate her total transparency on every page.
The unique thing about this book is the reflections offered from the bystanders. Friends and immediate family members offer their lessons learned as well as their own thoughts as they tried to be encouragers and supporters even in the midst of their own fears.
Do buy this book. Even if you haven’t had to endure cancer, chances are somebody you know will. I can promise you this book will help you more than any other in being the friend—or even the patient—you would hope to be.
Find it on Amazon.
Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson
“You are invited,” says author Marlo Schalesky, “to be confronted and changed by this love that is not based on securing your happiness but on God’s commitment to making you into the person he created you to be.” So she begins Wrestling with Wonder, a transformational journey into the life of Mary.
With Christmas approaching, Mary is likely to be on our minds, but you’ve never looked at Mary’s story quite like this before. Schalesky does write brief sketches for each piece, imagining what Mary might have thought and felt, but she focuses the book more strongly on the God who came near to Mary and changed her life.
The God Mary encountered didn’t make everything go as expected. Instead, she faced pain: from Simeon’s prophecy to its fulfillment as Jesus hung on the cross. His life as Messiah was not what she thought, but God met her in each unexpected place.
Anyone who has ever asked God, “Why?” will find much to ponder in this beautifully personal and insightful book. Schalesky adds stories from her life to Mary’s, showing what this kind of grappling with God looks like today. If you only take one recommendation this year, read Wrestling with Wonder.
In the author’s words, “So, come and discover the unexpected Christ. Wrestle with wonder. And find him where you never expected him to be. Find him on the wild journey from an angel’s unexpected arrival to beyond an empty tomb. Come, if you dare…”
Find it on Amazon.