Sunday, November 13, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Color of Rain Book Review

I'm not going to lie... this book was hard to read. It's hard to open yourself up to something so real. This story brings us into the lives of two people who have lost their significant others. One their husband and the other their wife. They lose their loved ones to cancer and are left alone with their children to battle the "why's." As a wife and mother this story was sad and frightening. The idea of losing your best friend, a parent to your children, is unbearable. Yet, there is something uplifting about this story as well.

This real-life Brady Bunch story is about what it means to endure the unthinkable---and still open one's heart to what's next. When two childhood friends die of cancer six weeks apart, the shared experience of loss brings their grieving spouses together. After months of late-night phone calls, family dinners, and countless dreams and tears, this unlikely pair builds a trust, a love, and a shared life. Told from alternating points of view, The Color of Rain illuminates the stepping-stones of healing that lead to a joyful new beginning for Michael and Gina Spehn and their five children. Like many who grieve, Michael and Gina had to choose to hope again. Along the way, they discovered that God can restore the darkest circumstances---and even from death, He can bring new life. Michael and Gina's gripping story of 'growing new hearts' will inspire readers not only to survive loss but also to receive the new courage, faith, and identity that God gives in the midst of tragedy.

While the story is chock full of tragedy and the real life hardships that follow such tragedies, it is also a love story. A friendship that blossoms over the understanding of what the other is going through. The friendship then continues to grow and the hard questions must be asked. Would my significant other have wanted this? Can I love again? How will my children feel?

No one ever wants to find themselves in the positions these two young adults found themselves in. But in way they were truly blessed by circumstances. Their connection before their loved ones passed away opened a door for support, comfort, understanding, and ultimately love. And their faith allowed them to realize that God has plans. My mom once told me, God never gives you anything you can't handle. This was illustrated through this memoir.

These two authors have opened up their inner souls and let us in. They took us into their world and let us know that there is life after death. That you may never be the same and you may never stop loving those lost, but you can learn to live and love again. And that provides a feeling of comfort in an otherwise unthinkable situation. It makes you appreciate what you have, but it also makes you realize how quickly life can change.

While this may not be the cheery holiday book were planning to curl up with, it is a powerful read that I would recommend. Be prepared to cry and smile.


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