Sunday, July 16, 2017

EVERY LEAST SPARROW by Carolyn Walker



Carolyn Walker, Every Least Sparrow (Garn Press, LLC, New York, 2019). Preface by Raoul Hennekam, Professor of Pediatrics and Translational Genetics.

 

Available in hard cover, paperback and for Kindle.

 

 


Non-fiction

Reviewed by Dorinda Kauzlarich-Rupe


“Many long minutes passed. They hung in the air between us like icicles. I finally broke the silence with a tirade of her symptoms, gleaned from the haze of post-delivery, but they made no more sense to him than they did to me. I watched while Don winced against the palate and spatula thumbs and beak nose. Then I bespoke the trickle down fear that had welled up inside me during the night. ‘Do you think you’ll be able to love her?’” (p. 14)

Author Carolyn Walker has been involved in many different writing venues, including as instructor, poet, memoirist, essayist, and reporter for newspapers and magazines. She has a great talent for painting pictures with words—whether a picture of a lovely scene or a heartbreak one. She brings you into the emotion of the moment and has, therefore, won numerous writing awards. She has an amazing command of the English language. I don't think I have ever read anything that uses language as well as Walker uses it in this book. 

This book tells the story of bringing her daughter, Jennifer, into the world and learning to live with her and support her. Jennifer is diagnosed, after hours of research by the delivering physician, Dr. O’Neill, with the rare syndrome, Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, which manifests itself with “beak noses, sloping eyes, jointless thumbs, and stymied IQs” (p 179).

It is a fascinating story as she shares of all the emotions of parenting a child with a disability—especially an unusual one--sharing the heartbreaks, celebrations, challenges, pain, and rewards, beginning with the birth and proceeding through all the life stages and experiences to the time when Jennifer leaves her parental home to live her own life in her own special home, supervised by a non-family woman.

This is a beautifully written book, easy to read and highly recommended. The reader becomes absorbed in the lives of Carolyn and of Jennifer—at least I did!

NOTE: You can see Carolyn Walker and her two children on a video at http://garnpress.com/books/every-least-sparrow/.

Friday, June 16, 2017

THE SHUNNING by Beverly Lewis




Beverly Lewis, The Shunning, Book 1 of the Heritage of Lancaster County Series (Bethany House Publishers, 1997).

Also available in Kindle, Nook, and Audible and as an audio-book



Fiction

Reviewed by Dorinda Kauzlarich-Rupe
Another easy, fun read, with some frustration thrown in. Katie Lapp, the main character, was raised in a strict Amish family and, of course, was expected to adhere completely to the strict dogma and ordnung of that faith. But she has a huge streak of rebellion in her, which is just stimulated/fortified by a family secret that she discovers in her parent’s home. Thus she has a mystery to unravel which only makes her more and more resistant to the ordnung . As I read the book, I planned an ending, but it ended much more realistic than I envisioned. Beverly Lewis’s family has a Plain background and thus she brings an authenticity to her writing about the Amish. Her books are among C.S. Lewis Noteworthy List of Books as well as on the NY Times Best Seller lists. This book was made into a movie.


NOTE: This book was made into a Hallmark movie, starring Sherry Springfield and Danielle Panabaker. See http://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/beverly-lewis-the-shunning for more information and a preview.