Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow

Minka DeYoung grew up in circumstances that were simultaneously difficult and safe. Working alongside her parents and being unable to attend high school, Minka is innocent and shy. On a picnic one summer day in 1928, Minka slips away for a walk in the woods with another girl, only to be sexually assaulted by a stranger. Understandably confused and hurt, she later realizes that she is also pregnant. Sent away to hide the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption, Minka falls in love with her beautiful baby girl, Betty Jane. Realizing that giving her to another family is for the best, Minka sacrifices her own desires and leaves the child for its adoptive parents. Almost eighty years later, she utters a prayer asking to see her daughter, but never expects that it will happen. Such a prayer seems impossible, but Minka's story exemplifies the truth that with God, nothing is impossible. Read more in The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow.

At times, The Waiting was difficult to read and I found myself on the verge of tears. It's not light, fluffy entertainment, but a remarkable true story that has the potential to change hearts with its themes of perseverance, faith and love.

The author expertly brings the reader into Minka's experience with vivid narration, intriguing historical detail and a heart-wrenching plot. Some details of the rape are given, but only the necessities that help the reader to understand the story. While it is unpleasant to read about and probably not appropriate for younger readers, it is not overly graphic. I enjoyed how much history was integrated within the story. Not just big events like wars and economic upheaval, but lesser known things like the doctor following the standard procedure of the day in dosing Minka with ether when she came to the pushing stage of childbirth.

The cover of The Waiting is stunning and the photos inside contribute positively to the reader's experience. To see Minka and Ruth (Betty Jane) together after reading their story is such a poignant image.

Readers who are looking for an inspirational, true story of perseverance and faith will enjoy The Waiting. This book is a keeper for me. It's not something I'll want to read again in three months, but I'm sure I'll read it again in the future.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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