Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Healing by Linda Byler

Welcome!  Death Said the Gypsy Queen by Susan Boles is now available.  It is the fourth A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery.  Pecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox will be published on September 18.  It is the seventh book in The Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries.

The Healing by Linda Byler takes readers to Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.  John Stoltzfus comes from a large family of ten children with two loving parents, Mary and Elmer Stoltzfus.  John is fourteen years old and currently attends Hickory Ridge School.  John is at that awkward stage with acne, buck teeth, chubby and he wears glasses.  Being the youngest in the family, he feels invisible and that his thoughts do not matter.  When a new teacher takes over the classroom before Christmas, John is instantly smitten with her.  Lena Zook’s smile is the bright spot in his day.  The following fall, John beings to feel ill.  Shoulder pain, headaches, chills and he is tired all the time.  After several unsuccessful trips to the doctor, John begins to withdrawal into himself.  The noise and pain become too much to bear at times and he only wishes to be alone.  Mary hovers over John trying one home remedy after another.  She becomes anxious, worried and tired as time goes on.  The brothers begin bickering and the family becomes divided as the older boys feel that John is just being lazy, and the other brothers are worried for their younger sibling.  When Samuel, the oldest brother, begins dating Lena, John has a mixture of feelings.  He also wonders if he will ever be well enough to court a young woman.  When a change of scenery fails to revive John’s spirits, he returns home.  He begins to pray for help and looks to God for guidance.  Just when things begin to look up for John, the unthinkable happens.  Follow John’s journey in The Healing.

The Healing caught my attention because I know what it is like to have an illness that people do not understand and is hard to diagnose.  We get to watch John struggle through his illness and lack of faith.  He has a large family where the brothers tease each other, and their mother loves to dote on each of them.  We get to see the toll that an illness can take on a family.  It wears you down physically and mentally.  I thought the author gave readers a realistic portrayal of someone suffering with pain, loneliness, depression and so much more.  Some of the Christian themes present are prayer, relying on God, God only gives us what we have the strength to handle (this is a hard one for me), God is in control, having faith, and remember that God loves us, and He sacrificed His only son for us.  Other themes present in the story are love, family, forgiveness, understanding, and friendship.  While The Healing has good writing, I struggled with the pace of the story.  It also seemed the same information was being presented over and over.  It would have been nice if the story epilogue.  The story seemed incomplete (I wanted closure).  My rating for The Healing is 3.5 out of 5 stars.  The Healing is a good story for the younger readers (age thirteen and up). The Healing is a lovely, heartfelt and emotional novel that will appeal to fans of Linda Byler and Amish fiction. 

Thank you for reading my review.  I am featuring Die Me A River by Denise Swanson tomorrow.  It is the second book in Welcome Back to Scumble River series and we get to find out what Skye and Wally are going to name the twins.  I hope you have a charming day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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