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BOOK COVER OF WK - THE WEIGHT OF SHADOWS


This cover did catch my eye on the book shelf. I found myself sneaking a peek into this book to see what it was about. I was thinking that this woman was hiding or running away from someone. She didn't look very happy so I don't think she was going on a fun wild adventure. The title kind of threw me-The Weight of Shadows. I'd have to think about that one. I was sure the meaning would be revealed within this intriguing strory.

Yes, this book cover definatley catches the eye. I've read this book and below is my review. Let me know if you think the book cover gives a peek into this book. Alison Strobel does a good job at writing a hopeful, insightful book about a very tough subject to talk about and realize this happens all across the world every day!

REVIEW:

THE WEIGHT OF SHADOWS

By Alison Strobel Morrow
Published by: Zondervan
ISBN# 978-0-310-28945-6
316 Pages

Back Cover: In The Weight of Shadows, by Alison Strobel Morrow, after a difficult childhood, Kim has built a successful life for herself ... but she'd leave it all if it meant being rid of the guilt she harbors over a tragic mistake she made years ago. When she meets Rick, she finds everything she needs---including a way to pay for her sins every time he hits her. Kim and Rick's new neighbor, Joshua, knows more than Kim realizes about Rick, but Joshua has battles of his own to fight. Soon to intersect Kim's and Rick's lives is Debbie, who has saved countless women from abuse through the shelter she runs, but Debbie might be as desperate for love as the women she serves. Meanwhile, as Rick's wrath extends to their baby, Kim must decide if her penance is more important than protecting that innocent life---and if she should dare leave Rick when he has the power to bring her hidden crime to light.

REVIEW: Just finished the last page of Alison Strobel Morrow’s new book and I’m glad I received a review copy of this haunting, realistic look at how each choice we make in life often times takes us on an unexpected journey. This author shows how easy it is to get in the middle of a bad situation that might seem impossible to get out of.

Alison paints an unnerving but hopeful picture of a young orphan girl desperate for love. Kim hasn’t done anything about this deep desire. She’s kept busy going to school to learn to be a hair dresser and then works in a salon. Then one night at her roommates’ party she notices a guy. He notices her too! She can’t believe her luck and on her birthday of all days. She hadn’t been looking for love yet here it was! What a nice guy, they had so much to talk about; he even grew up in foster care like she did! What are the chances of that? Kim has finally found someone who gets her and someone she can be herself with.

Kim volunteered with young girls at the girls club and tells them, “You have to stay true to yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, then no man is going to respect you, either. Love isn’t an important enough ‘end’ to justify compromising who you are.” If only Kim took her own advise.

Alison has another story line going in contrast to Kim’s it’s Joshua story. He’s a young man who’s been in a healthy, loving relationship with his wife and has lost her to cancer. He’s been a Christian for a while and can’t understand why God has taken his young wife and left him to raise their pre-school daughter alone.

The author goes back and forth from Joshua to Kim’s story and you wonder if their lives will intersect. Then Joshua moves really close to Kim and the chances of them meeting are great! Both Kim and Joshua’s lives have been turned up-side down and each are struggling to get their feet on solid ground—it’s hard. I enjoyed the contrast in the book

This author writes a very sensitive, thought provoking book about how women find themselves in the middle of an abusive relationship that didn’t start out that way. They had fun times, and hopes and dreams for a happy life and then things turn dark. Little by little the relationship changed until they felt trapped, afraid and can’t see a way out.

Alison also reveals some of the lies women like Kim believe about themselves that keep them in these relationships. Kim does realize this is not right and then justifies staying because of what she believes about herself. She has s secret, she’s done a terrible thing, and she tells herself this is the punishment for her deed.

The author talks about statics of abused woman in the book, not all women who are abused come from the foster care system. Abuse happens all over the world, and all across different class structures and social statuses. The abusers, manipulators have all different jobs and degrees, they are very convincing and often times will make the woman feel like she’s stupid, crazy, clumsy and/or she imagined the things that happened to her. The victim starts to believe these lies and works harder at pleasing the abuser so the pain will stop. The victim works harder to become perfect but they never arrive.

Kim highlights the aspects about her relationship with Rick that are healthy for her girls group, “… things they should be looking for in a boyfriend. Like how Rick watched out for her, always wanting to know where she was going and when she’d be back so he’d figure out sooner if someone had happened to her. Or how he tried to make life easier, in little ways – like how he ordered for her in restaurants or told her what to make for dinner so she didn’t have to come up with something on her own.”

All these things were thoughtful at first but quickly turn into ways of controlling Kim’s every move. She rapidly becomes trapped.

This was not a pie in the sky walk with God. It’s gut wrenchingly honest and I like that about this story and the characters. I was thrilled when I heard Alison had a new book out but hesitated when I heard of the subject matter. I was afraid of where this book might take the reader. I was drawn into the story by the main character, Kim. She was likeable, and a little different than the average bear. I’m happy that the violence in the book is not graphic or drawn out but definitely revealing and enough to show you what goes on behind closed doors and beyond in an abusive relationship. Some of the self talk and the lies Kim believed about herself I found chilling.

I also enjoyed Joshua and his daughter, Maddie. She was adorable and Joshua was a good dad, sticking to his boundaries with his in-laws who want to draw him into an unhealthy relationship. He sticks to what is right for everyone involved. Joshua realizes that his in-laws are not Christians and they were blaming him for their daughters’ death and his lack of care for her. They felt that if Joshua took better care their daughter, she would be alive. They believed their own lies. How could he walk out his faith and still not enter an abusive relationship with his in-laws. I liked this about Joshua and the fact that Alison had this struggle in the book. It balanced out the unhealthy relationship Kim found herself in.

I think this book gives an honest glimpse into a woman’s choices that get her into and keep her in an abusive situation. I have to say this is definitely not the book I expected it to be for that I am thankful. It wasn’t graphic, and depressing but instead showed ways to recognize someone being abused, how to offer help and it showed how to set healthy boundaries with people in Joshua’s case. Alison helps the reader see how these abusive relationships start and how women can get help to leave. There is healing and love for their weary soul! Healing takes time and happens on so many levels. This is a powerfully moving story of hurt, hope, healing and forgiveness. It’s a tough subject matter but well worth the read.

Nora St.Laurent
http://www.bookfun.org/

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