Hide and Watch by Jill Hicks Lawson

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Christian testimony about a family that faced years of medical challenges.

Born in the late 1960s in rural Kentucky, debut author Lawson grew up watching her parents’ strong work ethic as they operated a local funeral home and ambulance service. She was raised a Christian, but she writes that she was often “not too far from God, but not especially close either….my walk was more in line with other things, like food and books.” After overcoming a lifelong struggle with her weight and self-esteem issues, and surviving a short-lived marriage, Lawson believed that she was finally on track in her life—and then her mother was diagnosed with renal failure. She returned home to help her mom, whom she describes as “ever the ‘steel magnolia.’ ” But after years of daily dialysis, the doctors insisted that a kidney transplant was the only way forward. Lawson was discovered to be a match, and she gave everything she could to try and save the life of the woman who’d done so much for her, but it turned out to be only the beginning of numerous complications. Other family tragedies followed, and Lawson underwent her own struggle with infertility. The crux of her story is her second marriage to a supportive, loving man and her eventual acceptance and understanding of why God would allow such difficulties to befall her family. With her husband’s encouragement, she decided to share her testimony and the story of her resilient faith. Lawson’s concise prose condenses years of her life into a neat, compact narrative that still has room for big, emotional moments. Although she summarizes most events in a few sentences, she also takes care to elaborate painful ones, including her many prayers and her mother’s heartbreaking final gestures, which makes each complication feel more urgent and powerful. Overall, the book follows a familiar narrative for religious memoirs and testimonials, and there are no groundbreaking insights into pain, loss, or the reluctant acceptance of God’s plan. However, Christian readers will appreciate her brevity in sharing her spiritual struggle and eventual revelations.

An economically written testimony that will appeal to Christians seeking to reconcile their faith with loss.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5127-0244-6
Page count: 76pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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