Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Waiting by Cathy LaGrow (Review)

The Waiting
by Cathy LaGrow
Non Fiction / Christian / Memoir
Available May 2014
Tyndale House
336 pages



About the Book
An unforgettable true story that will touch your heart and make you believe in love’s enduring legacy, and in the power of prayer.

In 1928, 16-year-old Minka was on a picnic in the woods when she was assaulted and raped. And suddenly this innocent farm girl—who still thought the stork brought babies—was pregnant. The baby was secretly born, named Betty Jane, and given up for adoption. For decades, Minka wrote letters trying to get news of her daughter; she kept loving and praying for her, even though she never dared believe they would meet again. Until nearly eighty years later, when Minka whispered her secret, impossible prayer for the first time: Lord, I’d like to see Betty Jane before I die. I promise I won’t bother her or interrupt her life. I just want to lay eyes on her. Unbeknownst to Minka, that very same day, a judge was releasing the sealed adoption records to her 77-year-old daughter. And soon, Minka’s phone would ring. Written by Cathy LaGrow (Minka’s granddaughter), The Waiting brings three generations of this most unusual family together over the course of a century to tell a story of faith that triumphs, forgiveness that sets us free, and love that never forgets. 

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My Thoughts
When I heard the premise for this book, I knew I had to read it. It was every bit as good as I anticipated! After Minka is raped as a teenager, she discovers she is pregnant and gives the baby up for adoption. This incredible story goes on to tell of Minka's life and reunion with that baby 77 years later.

I was shocked time after time at how different life is now than when Minka was growing up 100 years ago. Her difficult circumstances were heartbreaking, but she was strong despite them. I appreciated, especially, that she grew closer to God in the midst of these challenging times.

The writing is tender and moving, which only adds to the beauty of the story. By the time I reached the end of the book, I was quite emotional. What a wonderful gift the Lord gave both Minka and "Betty Jean"! And what a wonderful gift Minka's family has given all of us through the telling of this story. It was simply delightful. One of the best books I have read this year.
[5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Cathy LaGrow first fell in love with books as a young girl, when she often chose to lose herself in a story rather than play outside. That love has never waned. She estimates that she's read more than two thousand books, and she habitually collects new titles much faster than she can read them.

Her previous writing endeavors include her blog, Windows and Paper Walls; a story for Chicken Soup for the Soul titled "A Good Mother"; and a weekly column for All the Church Ladies on a website created by journalist Karen Spears Zacharias.

In 2006, just after the birth of her first baby, Cathy and her family learned the secret her grandmother Minka Disbrow had been carrying for almost eighty years—that at age seventeen, she'd given up a baby for adoption. Cathy's mother is Minka's second child, born nearly eighteen years later. Cathy began working on The Waiting in early 2012.

Cathy has been married to her high school sweetheart, Dan, for almost twenty-five years. She is a licensed, nonpracticing US Customs broker and a piano teacher. She lives in Oregon, where she's often found in the kitchen baking or curled up in a chair reading. An avid runner, she sometimes runs literal circles around her two small boys at the neighborhood park. Nearly everything fascinates her.
This is Cathy's debut book.

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