Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Book Review: Finding Grace A memoir by Donna Vanliere

While on a recent trip the public library I notice they had put out about many new books. At our local library they put them right in front at near the check out counter. With all three kids I don't get to go to the Adult side of the library to often with out of one of them having some kind of meltdown, that requires me leaving apologizing for them being so loud. So this trip I stayed right where the new books were.

After reading many of the backs of the books and trying to find one, I came across this book. "Finding Grace A memeior" I looked at the cover and before reading the inside cover of the book I knew I was taking it with me. The cover of the book is covered in little pictures of the authors family and of her self growing up as a child. I had never heard of her before and didn't really give much thought to her name. That day had been a trying day and maybe something guided my hand to that book and opened my eyes so that I could see the title and pulled at my heart to let me know I needed what that book had to say.

The book goes from her early childhood through her struggle with infertility and through her search for grace that was hidden through all she had to endure. She tells of sexual abuse that happen once to her and then again there was an attempt but she found strength to fight the person off. She tells how she blamed her self and how she shut that part of herself off so she didn't have to feel. She tells of how she met her husband and how he wanted to adopt children and she wanted to give birth to her own flesh and blood. All through her struggles she fought with finding her self and fought with her faith and belief in God and what he had planned for her. She fought with trying to put herself aside and letting God take over. She looked for answers to prayers that she was praying in her time and instead of in God's time. With each chapter you got to see more and more into the soul of her and into the Grace that she was searching for. Then she tells of her and her husband's decision to adopt their three wonderful children. About the long wait and the process they had to go through. And each time she looked for God's grace. The more she looked the more and more God made his presences known by things she would read or thing she would see. But like all of us when you are looking for something it's when you never seem to find it. But when you wait and slow down you truly find what you are looking for.

I would say if you are needing a book that is uplifting and full of heartache and happiness and direction, then you should for sure pick up this book. It took me all of two days to read it cover to cover. I'm sure before it's due back I will read it again to see if I have missed anything.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very honest story about a woman who is real about her spiritual and personal struggles. I think true stories leave us feeling like someone has shared something with us from their own perspective rather than other books that leave the reader feeling "preached at" if religion is involved. She is recounting her experiences with God, prayer, grace, and faith, not telling anyone how they "should" go about having these things. At least, that's what I gather from this review.

How many of us have struggled wanting something so much and striving for it and getting angry at God, the universe, fate, or whatever when we just can't ever quite reach that thing we want so much? I think everyone has had this experience. It is not easy and we often lack the nisight to understand such struggles until much later. Sometimes, we never do understand them entirely or even partially, but there are times when we realize that what ultimately happens is something better than what we wanted so much might have been. Life often takes us in different directions than we expect. I bet that, if we asked her now, she would say she wouldn't change any of the path that got her to the children she has now. I hope they are healthy and well-adjusted. Perhaps there is another memoir in her future.

Carmella Broome, Licensed Professional Counselor in SC
Author of Carmella's Quest: Taking On College Sight Unseen (Red Letter Press 2009)

Laurie said...

WOW thanks for reading my blog. That is exactly what this book is. Her view and her experience with out the the preachy undertones.