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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Repost with Review : FIRST Wild Card - This Side of Heaven by Karen Kingsbury

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

This Side of Heaven

Center Street (January 6, 2009)


New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America's #1 inspirational novelist. She's written more than thirty novels, ten of which have hit #1 on bestseller lists, and her Center Street novel Just Beyond the Clouds hit #13 on the New York Times bestseller list. There are nearly seven million copies of her award-winning books in print, including more than two million copies sold last year alone. She lives in Washington state with her husband, Don, and their six children, three of whom are adopted from Haiti.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Center Street (January 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599956780
ISBN-13: 978-1599956787


My Review: This book is absolutely beyond stunning. Where to begin? This was my introduction to Karen Kingsbury though I have heard so much about for what seems like forever. I knew that this was going to be good. I just had no idea how I would be as touched as I was.

My heart ached for Josh. I wanted so much for that young man to have an easement of his pain of body and heart. However, it was incredible to read how as he focused on others, his own pain lifted greatly. His love strengthened him. Watching the trials of Savannah also was a burden on my soul. I knew I was reading a book, but I became more an more aware that this may be a "story" but there are many young children out there that are living a life quite similar to young Savannah's if not worse.

I do not want to give away any of this story. It had ups and downs and some moments that I expected. I would like to share what impact it left on me.

I realized while reading this story that we need to learn to really listen, really love, and really care for those around us. We need to BE good neighbors, parents, brothers and sisters. Learning involves concern, caring and listening. So often we are so consumed with our lives and our hopes that we miss the opportunity to share in other's hopes and lives. As a parent, I have realized how important it is to support and love my child during every moment.

Karen also shows many characters praying for each other. It was wonderful to see this active relationship with Christ. I have read books that are kind of "preachy" but really lacked in relationship. This Side of Heaven showed the relationship between a believer and Jesus Christ, and how He is there. Sometimes life does not unfold in the way we wish, but that doesn't mean it is not working according to His plan and that it isn't a life that is fulfilling. Let go of expectations and really let God is another of the many messages I got from this book.

And the characters in general were fully flesh. By the end of the first paragraph, I became strongly aware of how real they were. They became more real to me as I read and honestly, I cared about them all and I hoped for them all. I especially enjoyed JC and Daisy. They were kindness and goodness personified. I'm telling you this was like reading a dream. Everything I read, I could see. Simply awesome. :)

Lastly, I also want to add that the song "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe made me cry. I do not think that Karen could have picked a better song. This is a song that we play quite often at our station, and I know it has touched many personally. I have heard the testimonies of how the lyrics spoke to them. It touches me each and every time.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book.


mrs.cupcake said...

Karen Kingsbury is my favorite author, and I am so excited to to read this book, even the synopsis makes me get teary eyed.

Alyce said...

I enjoy reading Karen Kingsbury books too, but I haven't read this one yet. I have to be in the mood because they are usually tear-jerkers.

Marta said...

oh this looks excellent. I'm going to have to pick this one up!