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THE SHEPHERD'S SONG REVIEWED

The Shepherd’s Song
By Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers
Published by Howard Books
ISBN#978-1-4767-3820-8
210 Pages

Back Cover: Shortly before suffering a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote the simple but powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper to give to her wayward and confused son. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. . . . As she loses consciousness from her injuries, she wonders if she’s done enough with her life.

When a lonely dry-cleaning employee finds Kate’s humble, handwritten copy of the psalm, it begins an incredible journey around the world, forever changing the lives of twelve very different people. From a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing with her family to Turkey, to a Kenyan runner about to begin the Rome Invitational Marathon, the power of the ancient words begins to take shape in various ways, drawing us into these stories inexplicably linked by the passing of the psalm from one recipient to the next.

Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God moves and changes lives through even our smallest actions.

REVIEW: I was instantly drawn into Kate McConnell’s situation. She’s opened her eyes and notices she is in an ambulance. She hears the siren is blowing. What happened? Why is she here? Her body hurt why? Was this her time? Her brain was foggy.

Kate wished she had more time to make an impact on people’s lives by sharing the good news of the gospel if her time on earth was over. She felt she’d not done well in this department of her life. The day before the accident she felt lead to neatly hand write out Psalm 23 on a piece of paper and give it to her son. She prayed over the paper while she wrote it. Her son Matt found the note and blew up at his mother. He put the note in his pocket and stormed off leaving Kate wondering had she really heard from God about writing the note in the first place.

This book follows the paper as each person sees something different in it for their life’s situation. The first person to discover the note is the man at the cleaners. He puts his hand in the pocket to get ready for cleaning and finds the piece of paper with Psalm 23 on it.  The man remembers reading this Psalm in his childhood; he wonders how he had gone astray.

Later on this man meets someone in a coffee shop and feels led to give her the Psalm 23 paper. She feels lead to send it to her brother that is stationed in Iraq and so goes the journey of the note. Each chapter highlights a verse from the passage and what it means to the person reading Psalm. One of the powerful themes running throughout the story is “no matter what has happened in our lives or what we've done, God is always ready to welcome you back into the fold. One author said, “The beauty of the bible is it crosses cultures to heal and give hope to all life’s situations.”

These authors are sisters who have written children’s books for 20 years. This is their first collaboration and first adult fiction book they've written. They used a single document to create their work. Each could access, either could add and/or make changes at will. They both said, “We love the idea that though fiction you can show how holy words can heal and give hope and change lives.”
One of their biggest challenges in this project was, “to look at these familiar words with fresh eyes and ways to imagine how God could work in a person’s life through each phrase.” Because each chapter deals from a phrase from Psalm 23 and a person’s reaction to it.

This is an encouraging fun read. It would be good for book clubs too. The authors have included twelve discussion questions to help generate lively conversation. There are three additional activities you could do to enhance the book club environment. Oh, be sure not to miss the interview in the back with both authors. It will give you insight into the book and its creators.

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

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