Friday, November 4, 2011

A Good and Perfect Gift

I got a different kind of book from Bethany House to review recently. I normally go for fiction books because I love all types of fiction and am always looking for a new author to read. But it is also true that I love nonfiction books, as long as they are easily read, well-written, and the point of the story interests me. So when I read the back cover of this book, I was intrigued. "Things don't always go as planned - especially when it comes to our children. When her first baby, Penny, is given a frightening diagnosis, Amy Julia's world comes crashing down." Talk about suspense!! What in the world could this diagnosis be? How would they ever get through it?

Then I started reading the book. The "frightening diagnosis" that was given to the child was actually Down's Syndrome. I have to be honest. When I first read that I kind of rolled my eyes. I admit, I only personally know a couple of people with Down Syndrome, but I would certainly never call it a frightening diagnosis. I started wondering what kind of dramatic book this was going to be.

But then, as I got further in the book, I realized how scary it really can be. Down Syndrome, like many other health issues, has a very wide spectrum. So there are people with Down's who may never speak. The individuals I know with Down's may have some mild health issues but they are healthy for the most part, speak well, one is an adult and has a job, both participate in Special Olympics, etc. But I started to see this mother's perspective - all those things are great, but it's still not what you necessarily want for your child. Here's an example from the book:

You know, there are all these people who try to console me about Penny by telling me about the "normal" things she'll be able to do. They tell me about a young man with Down Syndrome they know who takes a bus to work every day. And I think, "That's supposed to be good news, that my daughter won't be able to drive a car but might have a job?"

I realized not everyone is so comfortable handling a child with disabilities. I can't say for sure how I would handle it. And I certainly didn't realize all the health concerns that came with this syndrome.

All in all, the book was very interesting. I applaud the author for her honesty, even if I feel like I would have handled some of the situations differently. A very interesting read if you like true-life stories like this.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishing Group for this review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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