Rare Bird: a book review

Generally when I get a review book, my turn around is pretty quick. However I received Anna Whitson-Donaldson’s Rare Bird outside my regular channels and the subject matter seemed to heavy to just jump in. So as my book stacks piled up, I kept putting her book at the bottom of the pile. A book that I’ll definitely get to, soon-ish. When I finally picked it up to read in earnest, I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting.

This book is a tearjerker. Whitson-Donaldson tells the story of the death of Jack, her twelve-year-old boy that drowned in a near by creek. Most of the book is the story of her, her husband Tim and daughter Margret pick up the pieces in the midst of their grief. Whitson-Donaldson is vulnerable about how Jack’s death made her feel self-loathing, deep pain, isolation and broken. She also struggles to hold on to her faith in God through mourning. This memoir is set in the first year since Jack’s passing, so you see her walk through the raw pain and shock, and the cloud of grief that settles in afterward. You also see rays of hope break in as she learns to live with the pain. She also comes to trust that Jack is somehow still close to her.

This is Whitson-Donaldson’s story in her own words. I think many of the short chapters, probably came to life as blog entries (she blogs about her grief online). It is a touching story and I am glad I read it. I give it four stars.

I received this book from Convergent Books in exchange for my honest review.

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I am a pastor, husband, father, instigator, pray-er, hoper, writer, trouble-maker, peacemaker, and friend. Who are you?

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