To enter for a chance to win a copy of this book simply post a comment about a time when you heard God's voice telling you to do something? (I'm not talking about audibly hearing God - though you may have heard His voice, but it could even be sensed as a strong "gut" feeling - but you knew for certain that it came from God.) I will pick a winner next week weekend using the Randomizer program.
And to be fair, I'll answer the question first. This happened to me about twenty four (24) years ago, but it was as clear as a bell so I had not doubt it was from God. I'd started seeing my ex again after I knew God had wanted us separated. I had this strong feeling that I should go to his apartment in the middle of the day - even though he was supposed to be at work. I kept telling God it didn't make sense and that he wouldn't be home so it would be a waste of time. Well, the strong feeling wouldn't give, so I went to his apartment and found him leaving with the same woman he'd cheated on me with the last time. God wanted me to see that he hadn't changed. I'm glad I listened and went over there. I always wonder what would have happened if I hadn't listened. So tell me, what's your story? If you don't have one, you can simply tell me what intrigues you about this novel and why you want to win it.
About the book:
"I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."
Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn't speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.
Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter's death, Sierra's control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.
Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word-Jesus Christ.
Well, this book left me a little speechless. Funny since it's about words, right? I loved the quirky way the main character, Kaylee, was obsessed with words as a way of coping with stress, yet the lack of words (speech) due to her trauma was a large obstacle in her life. Some parts of the story reminded me a little of the movie Nell, starring Jodie Foster. But this novel had a unique angle to it that I haven't seen in many books -- especially not Christian books.
At first I was a bit overwhelmed with some of the details, but those details also made the story more powerful. I suppose my background of working with hundreds of sexually abused children didn't help because it made me think of all of the Kaylees that I'd gotten to know over the years and reminded me of their horrible situations prior to CPS removing them from their sexually abusive families. Like Kaylee, those children were also very conflicted regarding their families and loyalties. The author expertly described the mindset of an abused child in this story, and because of this, I think this novel should be required reading for all foster parents who are considering taking a sexually abused child into their home. Then when the child does something that seems disloyal, mean, or that doesn't make sense hopefully they will realize it's not about them (foster parents,) but it's just part of the healing process.
Not only was I impressed with this story in a general sense, but the writing, plotting, and pacing were also very good. Women who have been sexually abused might find themselves reliving some of their trauma while reading the first part of Kaylee's story, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Like in this novel, the truth of what happened needs to be dealt with in order to heal...and to set the person held captive by the painful memories free from those chains.
There are so many good things that can result from reading this book. I found it deep, insightful, and a quality story worthy of an award. The fact that the author says that she was Kaylee makes it that much more meaningful to me. This novel is a great example of how God uses our pasts to help others. He can make beauty from the ashes of our lives. I can see this book helping a lot of broken people, and for that reason (plus the fact that it's great story) this book is making my top fiction list for 2011. Check it out. You'll be glad you did.
Words was published by B&H and released in Feb 2011. A copy of this book was provided to me for review by Wynn-Wynn Media. The opinion expressed above is completely my own and I was not compensated for my review.