Stepping Into Sunlight

Stepping Into Sunlight

4.6 12
by Sharon Hinck

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After Penny Sullivan witnesses a shocking crime, her world tips sideways. Suddenly things like getting groceries, mowing the grass, and returning phone calls are more than she can handle. But with her husband away at sea and her seven-year-old son depending on her, hiding in the closet isn't an option. Hoping to recover by the time her husband gets home, she picke up


After Penny Sullivan witnesses a shocking crime, her world tips sideways. Suddenly things like getting groceries, mowing the grass, and returning phone calls are more than she can handle. But with her husband away at sea and her seven-year-old son depending on her, hiding in the closet isn't an option. Hoping to recover by the time her husband gets home, she picke up her trusty yellow notebook and formulates a restoration plan: Do one kind thing for another person every day. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and often brilliantly surprising...

"It's official--if the book says Sharon Hinck on the spine, I'm buying it!"--Kathryn Mackel, bestselling author

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Hinck, a 2008 Christy finalist for visionary fiction, offers an especially grounded tale of sudden trauma and slow healing. Narrator Penny Sullivan witnesses a horrific crime shortly before her navy chaplain husband is deployed, so she is forced to cope alone with the psychological fallout from what she saw. Family issues from her past complicate her struggle and enhance its credibility. Strong Christian themes form a natural part of the narrative. Penny Sullivan's faith is shaken, and she wonders why God would appear to permit evil and whether her emotional turmoil can be healed. A supporting cast of characters, from a nosy neighbor to the busy faithful servant to the downtrodden who heads a local mission, adds quirk and richness. Hinck is a mother of four, and it shows in authentic details in her characterization of the narrator's worried, loving seven-year-old son who gets his first pet in some cute comic relief. Hinck has done her homework on post-traumatic stress syndrome, and is not afraid to show readers that challenges can deepen faith. (Oct.)

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...this might be a good book for Christian counselors to give victims of trauma or anxiety, for friends and family of trauma victims, for book groups who are interested in expanding their knowledge of mental illness, and of course, for trauma and anxiety victims themselves.... Husbands and wives of military personnel will also relate to the themes of loneliness, single parenting and communication with loved ones who are away for extended periods of time.
—Cindy Crosby
Library Journal

In this uplifting novel set in Chesapeake, VA, Penny Sullivan is losing her grip after witnessing a traumatic event. She cannot even go to the grocery store without feeling that familiar panic. Tormented by nightmares and unable to enjoy life the way she used to, Penny is desperate. Making things worse is that Tom, her Navy husband, receives orders to ship out, leaving her alone in charge of their family. In an attempt to regain control of her life, Penny decides to start doing things for others in hopes that she will get better before Tom returns. Well written and compelling, this title will appeal to readers of Karen Kingsbury, Ann Tatlock, and Angela Elwell Hunt. Recommended for CF and women's fiction collections. Hinck is also the author of Symphony of Secrets and the "Sword of Lyric" series (The Restorer, The Restorer's Journey, The Restorer's Son).

—Tamara Butler

Product Details

Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.17(d)

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Stepping into Sunlight 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
DLWatson More than 1 year ago
Stepping Into Sunlight is a book that can benefit those suffering from trauma and depression as well as those who wish to understand and empathize with those who are hurting. We discussed this book in our local book club and found it sparked interesting discussions regarding the journeys life often takes us on, through its many twists and turns. At one time or another, we can find ourselves in a dark place and our group found this book makes it evident that even though one can feel alone when suffering from depression or trauma, we are not alone after all. Stepping Into Sunlight is not just a book for recreational reading, but it is also a book with a purpose. Well done, Sharon.
GinnyKY More than 1 year ago
This book is beautifully written, and Penny is such a realistic character that at times it's painful to read her struggles. Sharon Hink has such a lyrical way with words that at times I stopped reading to go back and savor a beautifully phrased sentence. Other times my eyes flew across the page, drinking in the story as I went. There are so many wonderful elements in this plot -- the delightfully odd next-door-neighbor, the long-lost brother with a frightening past, the charming and boisterous mission workers, the well-meaning mother and sister who make matters worse with their "just snap out of it" advice. I love a book that teaches me something (in this case, about PTSD) without lapsing for even a single moment into a preachy tone.

One reason I like Sharon Hinck's books is because she's so versatile. As a reader, I like books in different genres with vastly different styles. And Sharon writes books in different genres with vastly different styles. This book is completely different from her Sword of Lyric series, but the story is equally compelling, equally enjoyable, and equally steeped in the truth of God's powerful presence in our lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had me hooked from the first sentence. As someone who suffers from PTSD and panic attacks brought on by it, I could relate to the character of Penny in a way that I have never related to any fictional character before. I thought this book was beautifully written by someone who can truly understand what a person suffering with these afflictions goes through. Sharon Hinck truly has a gift for storytelling and this is my favorite book by her so far. The book was able to articulate things that I have experienced but have been unable to share. I had my husband read passages of it so that he could get an understanding of what I battle. It is a tale of hope for those of us who suffer and one a great insight for those who may not but either way, it is a beautiful story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put it down. Awesome wholesome story! -DINK
Landontod More than 1 year ago
Im so glad I came across this book. Great read. Can't wait to read the next book coming out in April
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read. Enjoyable, funny, thought- provoking. Read it :)
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
As someone who has been in a situation similar to Penny's, I could totally understand why she reacted and kept acting the way she did. You don't want to relive the event, yet it's always there haunting you. It's very traumatizing and it takes a long time for you get over it. Therefore I could relate to her and could see how just the small lists she made help make her days better. It was sad that Bryan had to suffer because of his mother's condition. That's the problem with any type of disorders, it affects everyone and not just afflicted person. He was good at putting up a strong face but it was also realistic to see that he was getting irritated with his mother. I kind of wish though that Penny hadn't kept her problems from her husband. I know she didn't want him to worry about her while he was gone, but at the same time, this really isn't a secret you should keep from your spouse. This book shows that sometimes in life, there are times where we can't keep things to ourselves. That even if it hurts to talk about it and it's painful to even think about it, we will only harm ourselves emotionally, physically and spiritually by not getting help. And last but not least, I was thrilled to read that this book takes place in my hometown area! There's nothing more exciting than reading about familiar sites in a book by an author who actually knows and has lived in the area herself. This truly is a powerful book and is one that women everywhere should read. Sharon Hinck has proven that she has mastered writing in several genres (mom-lit, fantasy, humor/mystery, women's fiction) and is now an author whose every book I must read. HIGHLY recommended.
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everlastingscribe More than 1 year ago
Life changes in an instant. A decision to do one small and very normal thing slams the main character, Penny, into a world heartache and pain. It is a life she did not chose, and while the way into it is a sharp and sudden drop, the way out of it isn't as quick or as simple.

As Penny struggles to 'get well' and works to convince herself and everyone else around her that she is 'well' her carefully constructed world fall to bits.

Slowly however, it begins to be reassembled through the help of some quirky people as well as a compassionate therapist. Bit by bit Penny begins to trade judgment for empathy, self-pity for compassion, humiliation for laughter, and despair for hope. She's still in the edges of the shadow, but ready to push out into daylight when another stone hurtles through the repaired Penny-image and she has to make a choice. Will what she has learned from her new friends and family be enough to help her come all the way into the sunlight despite the mess that will be revealed? Or will she return to the darkness in shame?

In Stepping Into the Sunlight Sharon Hinck has crafted a story with a dynamic main character who captures what it is like to house in one frame both fear and hope. There are no easy answers for the questions that Penny asks, only deep ones, only costly ones. This book is a refreshing and multifaceted look at faith, at healing, and the One who makes broken things and people whole.

It is said that an author can only write so many books in their lifetime and each is a decision made with care and purchased at great cost to them. I would like to thank Sharon Hinck for the care she put into this story, and thank her family for the sacrifices they made so she could write it. It is a book that I know I will lend out and give away time and again.