Monday, February 5, 2018

Review: The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne

From the Back of the Book

Five-year-old Cassie Carruthers fends for herself while her father drinks himself into a stupor. Bur her isolation has not gone unnoticed as a northern Appalachian community works to rescue the neglected little girl. Kerry McHenry, the kindergarten teacher, sees her own tough upbringing in Cassie's dire situation. As she throws herself into helping Cassie become everything God wants her to be, she finds herself torn between a commitment-phobic doctor and a widowed deputy sheriff still angry with God. As the stakes grow ever higher and the characters' lives intersect in unexpected ways, each will face a true test of faith - and come face-to-face with indisputable evidence of God's love.

My Thoughts

I started reading this book at ten o'clock one evening and thought I would just read the first chapter then head to bed. I was sobbing by page seven and took the book to bed with me where I kept reading WAY past my bedtime! I was finishing the book in a waiting room (because I thought I was past all of the sad parts, but I was wrong - I had to pull out the tissues again!) and if you look like I do when I cry, I don't recommend reading this in public. 

I was absolutely gripped by the story of Cassie, a neglected five-year-old girl. It was fascinating to read about how she perceived things and how much of an adult she had to be at her age due to her circumstances. Her storyline was my favorite in the book.

I liked Kerry, the kindergarten teacher, who comes to Cassie's aid. However, I wanted to talk some sense into her about the men she dates. She felt like she had to decide between two men and at the time she started dating each of them, neither of them had a solid walk with God. I really liked that I wasn't sure who she was going to end up with and I was still not sure until almost the end of the book. 

I enjoyed this book (despite the tears) and recommend it.

Thanks to the Hoarding Books Blog  for highlighting this book which is how I learned about it. Check out the Hoarding Books Blog each Friday for "First Line Friday" where they share the first line of a book they are highlighting and visit the group of bloggers who link up to share their first lines, too. 

I Was Inspired

This book made me think about what I can do to help children who are in a situation similar to Cassie's. Since I don't feel called to volunteer directly with children, I tried to come up with ways I could do something to help and these are some ideas that came to mind: 
  • Donate food to a local ministry or food bank. (After reading this book, donating breakfast bars seems like a good idea!) There is an organization in my area that fills backpacks with food for kids to take home from school over the weekend.
  • Donate toys at Christmastime to a church (or other organization) that is giving them to needy families. 
  • Sponsor a child from an organization like Compassion International, World Vision, or a similar organization and write encouraging letters to that child to let them know they are valued and loved.
What are some other ways we could help children who are experiencing challenging circumstances?

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