Waiting for Morning (Forever Faithful Series #1)

( 42 )

Overview

“I’m afraid there’s been a car accident...”

As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her—a husband other women admire, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a car pulls into Hannah’s driveway, bringing two police ...

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Waiting for Morning (Forever Faithful Series #1)

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Overview

“I’m afraid there’s been a car accident...”

As Hannah Ryan waits for her family to return home from a camping trip, she realizes she has everything going for her—a husband other women admire, two charming teenage daughters, and a loving Christian home. As the sunny afternoon turns into twilight, her uneasiness grows along with the shadows. Then a car pulls into Hannah’s driveway, bringing two police officers...and devastating news that shatters her life forever.

In the days that follow, Hannah struggles with unspeakable feelings of sorrow and rage—feelings that fuse into one chilling purpose for living: revenge against Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who has caused all her pain.

In her fury, Hannah shuts the Lord out of her life. She’s determined not to forgive Wesley or the God who allowed this tragedy to happen. Can two caring people help Hannah rediscover her faith...before bitterness destroys her?

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What People Are Saying

Karen Kingsbury

From the Author:

Waiting for Morning is the story of every mother's worst nightmare. Hannah Ryan's husband and oldest daughter are killed in a drunk driving accident. Ultimately, it is the story of hope amidst tragedy, forgiveness against all odds. I got the idea based on my friend, Julie, whose husband was killed by a drunk driver.

Joanna Lacy
Waiting for Morning is one of the most powerful books I've read other than the Bible.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590520208
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Series: Forever Faithful Series , #1
  • Pages: 378
  • Sales rank: 310,278
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Kingsbury

KAREN KINGSBURY is a USA Today and NewYork Times best-selling author, with more than 15 million books in print. Dubbed the Queen of Christian Fiction by Time magazine, Karen has written more than forty Life-Changing Fiction titles.  Her emotionally gripping novels include the popular Baxter Family Drama, which encompasses the Redemption, Firstborn, and Sunrise series, as well as stand-alone novels such as Like Dandelion Dust, When Joy Came to Stay, and This Side of Heaven. Karen and her husband, Don, live in the Pacific Northwest and are parents to six children, including three adopted from Haiti. Visit her website at www.KarenKingsbury.com.

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Read an Excerpt

One

I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed.
LAMENTATIONS 1:20A

Sunday Evening
They were late and that bothered her.

She had been through a list of likely explanations, any one of which was possible. They’d stopped for ice cream; they’d forgotten something back at the campsite; they’d gotten a later start than usual.

Still Hannah Ryan was uneasy. Horrific images, tragic possibilities threatened to take up residence in her mind, and she struggled fiercely to keep them out.

The afternoon was cooling, so she flipped off the air conditioning and opened windows at either end of the house. A hint of jasmine wafted inside and mingled pleasantly with the pungent scent of Pine-Sol and the warm smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Minutes passed. Hannah folded two loads of whites, straightened the teal, plaid quilts on both girls’ beds again, and wiped down the Formica kitchen countertop for the third time. Determined to fight the fear welling within her, she wrung the worn, pink sponge and angled it against the tiled wall. More air that way, less mildew. She rearranged the cookies on a pretty crystal platter, straightened a stack of floral napkins nearby, and rehearsed once more the plans for dinner.

The house was too quiet.

Praise music. That’s what she needed. She sorted through a stack of compact discs until she found one by David Jeremiah. Good. David Jeremiah would be nice. Calming. Upbeat. Soothing songs that would consume the time, make the waiting more bearable.

She hated it when they were late. Always had. Her family had been gone three days and she missed them, even missed the noise and commotion and constant mess they made.

That was all this was…just a terrible case of missing them.

David Jeremiah’s voice filled the house, singing about when the Lord comes and wanting to be there to see it. She drifted back across the living room to the kitchen. Come on, guys. Get home.

She stared out the window and willed them back, willed the navy blue Ford Explorer around the corner, where it would move slowly into the driveway, leaking laughter and worn-out teenage girls. Willed her family home where they belonged.

But there was no Explorer, no movement at all save the subtle sway of branches in the aging elm trees that lined the cul-desac.

Hannah Ryan sighed, and for just a moment she considered the possibilities. Like all mothers, she was no stranger to the tragedies of others. She had two teenage daughters, after all, and more than once she had read a newspaper article that hit close to home. Once it was a teenager who had, in a moment of silliness, stood in the back of a pickup truck as the driver took off. That unfortunate teen had been catapulted to the roadway, his head shattered, death instant. Another time it was the report of an obsessive boy who stalked some promising young girl and gunned her down in the doorway of her home.

When Hannah’s girls were little, other tragedies had jumped off the newspaper pages. The baby in San Diego who found his mother’s button and choked to death while she chatted on the phone with her sister. The toddler who wandered out the back gate and was found hours later at the bottom of a neighbor’s murky pool.

It was always the same. Hannah would absorb the story, reading each word intently, and then, for a moment, she would imagine such a thing happening to her family. Better, she thought, to think it through. Play it out so that if she were ever the devastated mother in the sea of heartache that spilled from the morning news, she would be ready. There would be an initial shock, of course, but Hannah usually skimmed past that detail. How could one ever imagine a way to handle such news? But then there would be the reality of a funeral, comforting friends, and ultimately, life would go on. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; wasn’t that what they said? She knew this because of her faith.

No, she would not be without hope, no matter the tragedy.

Of course, these thoughts of Hannah’s usually happened in less time than it took her to fold the newspaper and toss it in the recycling bin. They were morbid thoughts, she knew. But she was a mother, and there was no getting around the fact that somewhere in the world other mothers were being forced to deal with tragedy.

Other mothers.

That was the key. Eventually, even as she turned from the worn bin of yesterday’s news and faced her day, Hannah relished the truth that those tragedies always happened to other mothers. They did not happen to people she knew—and certainly they would not happen to her.

She prayed then, as she did at the end of every such session, thanking God for a devoted, handsome husband with whom she was still very much in love, and for two beautiful daughters strong in their beliefs and on the brink of sweetsixteen parties and winter dances, graduation and college. She was sorry for those to whom tragedy struck, but at the same time, she was thankful that such things had never happened to her.

Just to be sure, she usually concluded the entire process with a quick and sincere plea, asking God to never let happen to her and hers what had happened to them and theirs.

In that way, Hannah Ryan had been able to live a fairly worry-free life. Tragedy simply did not happen to her. Would not. She had already prayed about it. Scripture taught that the Lord never gave more than one could bear. So Hannah believed God had protected her from tragedy or loss of any kind because he knew she couldn’t possibly bear it.

Still, despite all this assurance, tragic thoughts haunted her now as they never had before.

David Jeremiah sang on about holding ground, standing, even when everything in life was falling apart. Hannah listened to the words, and a sudden wave of anxiety caused her heart to skip a beat. She didn’t want to stand. She wanted to run into the streets and find them.

She remembered a story her grandmother once told about a day in the early seventies when she was strangely worried about her only son, Hannah’s uncle. All day her grandmother had paced and fretted and prayed.…

Late that evening she got the call. She knew immediately, of course. Her son had been shot that morning, killed by a Viet Cong bullet. A sixth sense, she called it later. Something only a mother could understand.

Hannah felt that way now, and she hated herself for it. As if by letting herself be anxious she would, in some way, be responsible if something happened to her family.

She reminded herself to breathe. Motionless, hands braced on the edge of the kitchen sink, shoulders tense, she stared out the window. Time slipped away, and David Jeremiah sang out the last of his ten songs. Lyrics floated around her, speaking of the Lord’s loving arms and begging him not to let go, not to allow a fall.

Hannah swallowed and noticed her throat was thick and dry. Two minutes passed. The song ended and there was silence. Deafening silence.

The sunlight was changing now, and shadows formed as evening drew near. In all ways that would matter to two teenage girls coming home from a mountain camping trip with their father, it couldn’t have been a nicer day in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Bright and warm, a sweet, gentle breeze sifted through the still full trees. Puffy clouds hung suspended in a clear blue sky, ripe with memories of lazy days and starry nights.

It was the last day of a golden summer break.

What could possibly go wrong on a day like this?

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

I am in torment within, and in my heart I am disturbed.

Lamentations 1:20a

 

Sunday Evening

They were late and that bothered her.

She had been through a list of likely explanations, any one of which was possible. They'd stopped for ice cream; they'd forgotten something back at the campsite; they'd gotten a later start than usual.

Still Hannah Ryan was uneasy. Horrific images, tragic possibilities threatened to take up residence in her mind, and she struggled fiercely to keep them out.

The afternoon was cooling, so she flipped off the air conditioning and opened windows at either end of the house. A hint of jasmine wafted inside and mingled pleasantly with the pungent scent of Pine-Sol and the warm smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Minutes passed. Hannah folded two loads of whites, straightened the teal, plaid quilts on both girls' beds again, and wiped down the Formica kitchen countertop for the third time. Determined to fight the fear welling within her, she wrung the worn, pink sponge and angled it against the tiled wall. More air that way, less mildew. She rearranged the cookies on a pretty crystal platter, straightened a stack of floral napkins nearby, and rehearsed once more the plans for dinner.

The house was too quiet.

Praise music. That's what she needed. She sorted through a stack of compact discs until she found one by David Jeremiah. Good. David Jeremiah would be nice. Calming. Upbeat. Soothing songs that would consume the time, make the waiting more bearable.

She hated it when they were late. Always had. Her family had been gone three days and she missed them, even missed the noise and commotion and constant mess they made.

That was all this was…just a terrible case of missing them.

David Jeremiah's voice filled the house, singing about when the Lord comes and wanting to be there to see it. She drifted back across the living room to the kitchen. Come on, guys. Get home.

She stared out the window and willed them back, willed the navy blue Ford Explorer around the corner, where it would move slowly into the driveway, leaking laughter and worn-out teenage girls. Willed her family home where they belonged.

But there was no Explorer, no movement at all save the subtle sway of branches in the aging elm trees that lined the cul-de-sac.

Hannah Ryan sighed, and for just a moment she considered the possibilities. Like all mothers, she was no stranger to the tragedies of others. She had two teenage daughters, after all, and more than once she had read a newspaper article that hit close to home. Once it was a teenager who had, in a moment of silliness, stood in the back of a pickup truck as the driver took off. That unfortunate teen had been catapulted to the roadway, his head shattered, death instant. Another time it was the report of an obsessive boy who stalked some promising young girl and gunned her down in the doorway of her home.

When Hannah's girls were little, other tragedies had jumped off the newspaper pages. The baby in San Diego who found his mother's button and choked to death while she chatted on the phone with her sister. The toddler who wandered out the back gate and was found hours later at the bottom of a neighbor's murky pool.

It was always the same. Hannah would absorb the story, reading each word intently, and then, for a moment, she would imagine such a thing happening to her family. Better, she thought, to think it through. Play it out so that if she were ever the devastated mother in the sea of heartache that spilled from the morning news, she would be ready. There would be an initial shock, of course, but Hannah usually skimmed past that detail. How could one ever imagine a way to handle such news? But then there would be the reality of a funeral, comforting friends, and ultimately, life would go on. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord; wasn't that what they said? She knew this because of her faith.

No, she would not be without hope, no matter the tragedy.

Of course, these thoughts of Hannah's usually happened in less time than it took her to fold the newspaper and toss it in the recycling bin. They were morbid thoughts, she knew. But she was a mother, and there was no getting around the fact that somewhere in the world other mothers were being forced to deal with tragedy.

Other mothers.

That was the key. Eventually, even as she turned from the worn bin of yesterday's news and faced her day, Hannah rel-ished the truth that those tragedies always happened to other mothers. They did not happen to people she knew—and certainly they would not happen to her.

She prayed then, as she did at the end of every such session, thanking God for a devoted, handsome husband with whom she was still very much in love, and for two beautiful daughters strong in their beliefs and on the brink of sweet-sixteen parties and winter dances, graduation and college. She was sorry for those to whom tragedy struck, but at the same time, she was thankful that such things had never happened to her.

Just to be sure, she usually concluded the entire process with a quick and sincere plea, asking God to never let happen to her and hers what had happened to them and theirs.

In that way, Hannah Ryan had been able to live a fairly worry-free life. Tragedy simply did not happen to her. Would not. She had already prayed about it. Scripture taught that the Lord never gave more than one could bear. So Hannah believed God had protected her from tragedy or loss of any kind because he knew she couldn't possibly bear it.

Still, despite all this assurance, tragic thoughts haunted her now as they never had before.

David Jeremiah sang on about holding ground, standing, even when everything in life was falling apart. Hannah listened to the words, and a sudden wave of anxiety caused her heart to skip a beat. She didn't want to stand. She wanted to run into the streets and find them.

She remembered a story her grandmother once told about a day in the early seventies when she was strangely worried about her only son, Hannah's uncle. All day her grandmother had paced and fretted and prayed.…

Late that evening she got the call. She knew immediately, of course. Her son had been shot that morning, killed by a Viet Cong bullet. A sixth sense, she called it later. Something only a mother could understand.

Hannah felt that way now, and she hated herself for it. As if by letting herself be anxious she would, in some way, be responsible if something happened to her family.

She reminded herself to breathe. Motionless, hands braced on the edge of the kitchen sink, shoulders tense, she stared out the window. Time slipped away, and David Jeremiah sang out the last of his ten songs. Lyrics floated around her, speaking of the Lord's loving arms and begging him not to let go, not to allow a fall.

Hannah swallowed and noticed her throat was thick and dry. Two minutes passed. The song ended and there was silence. Deafening silence.

The sunlight was changing now, and shadows formed as evening drew near. In all ways that would matter to two teenage girls coming home from a mountain camping trip with their father, it couldn't have been a nicer day in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Bright and warm, a sweet, gentle breeze sifted through the still full trees. Puffy clouds hung suspended in a clear blue sky, ripe with memories of lazy days and starry nights.

It was the last day of a golden summer break.

What could possibly go wrong on a day like this?

 

 

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    Highly Recommend!!!!

    I love all the Karen Kingsbury books. She is a very good author. Puts the love of God into every book she writes. Makes us realize that he is in charge of our lives. She keeps you thinking about your own life in every book she writes, you or I can crawl in the book and be the characters she is writing about. I would recommend this book and all of her books to anyone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I love anything Karen Kingsbury writes. Haven't been disappointe

    I love anything Karen Kingsbury writes. Haven't been disappointed even once. Keep writing, Karen!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    A book about loss and forgiveness I enjoyed very much

    Hannah Ryan waits at home for her family, her husband and two teenaged daughters, to return from a camping trip. But what she wants isn't want she gets. Instead, a police car pulls into her driveway, delivering to her the worst news a mother and wife could imagine. The aftermath of what has happened is simple: Hannah is full of rage and grief and makes it her missing to get revenge on Brian Wesley, the drunk driver who took her family from her. Somewhere along the way, she began to blame God, too, and now it's up to two people to bring her peace and forgiveness and closeness to God again.

    I haven't read a lot of Kingsbury, aside from one novel I reviewed almost a year ago, and I really liked it. So I was excited to get to review Waiting for Morning, and although it had its imperfections, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the characters are, for the most part, very real. What I thought Kingsbury did exceptionally well was make me feel strong emotion for the journeys that Hannah and Jenny had to face. I felt such sorrow for their loses, and there were times were I felt outright anger - especially at Hannah, when she was dealing with Jenny's struggles later in the novel. In that specific instance (and I don't want to be more descriptive in what I'm talking about, because I don't want it to spoil Jenny's path!) between Hannah and Jenny, I was so mad at Jenny, but I also pitied her because I could only imagine how caught up in her own narrow field of grief she was.

    What I thought was done well was the juxtaposition between grief and forgiveness. Hannah, and even Jenny, really had to struggle with these two concepts, and there are arguments that favor either - or both. But as readers, and the surviving Ryans, come to see, they can coexist, and there is power in allowing God to help you feel and live them both.

    Certain elements of the plot were predictable, and I did have to suspend my disbelief at someone of the ways Jenny was able to get away with what she did (computer searches would be more monitored and counselors and teachers at school would not have been so terribly oblivious to what was going on with Jenny), but I was willing to disregard those things for what was otherwise a fulfilling read.

    I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review. I was not asked to provide a positive review, just an honest one.)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2012

    Wonderful book! I could not put it down! I found it very inspira

    Wonderful book! I could not put it down! I found it very inspirational and remembered the lessons held in it later on when I went through loss in my own family. I believe the Lord finds many paths to teach us what we need to know to prepare us for what lies ahead in our lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    i love karen kingsbury

    As i said i love kingsbury she is such a good writer i have read all three books in this searies i will forever love them and they will forever be my favorite books karen kingsbury will forever be my favorite author thanx keep making more awsome books karen :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Awesome Amazing and Somewhat sad...

    Being a teenager, i really liked reading from Jennys perspective. They were both struggling with thier loss but hannah couldve paid more attention to jenny. It was an amazing book! Sad too though, i cried at some parts.
    -izzy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Kingsbury Delivers!

    Karen Kingsbury is one of my favorite authors, and I was thrilled to see a book available by her! Waiting for Morning was an amazingly written story about the power of forgiveness and God's mercy and grace.
    Tom Ryan and his two daughters, Alicia and Jenny are on their way home from a camping trip when they are hit by a drunk driver. Tom and Alicia are killed almost instantly, leaving Jenny and her mom, Hannah Ryan left to face the consequences of the drunk driver. Kingsbury delivers a powerful message throughout this story and writes with such passion that you feel you are part of the lives of the Ryan family. While Hannah struggles with her anger over the situation and her hatred for Bryan Wesley, her daughter struggles with the fact that she is left with a mom who just doesn't seem to care for her anymore.
    I recommend this book and any book by Karen Kingsbury. She gets you involved with each character and writes in such a way that you feel you know them personally. Kingsbury has written a powerful message on the implications of drunk driving, but even more powerful, the message of forgiveness not only for each other and our faults, but forgiveness from God. As part of the Forever Faithful series, this is book number one with two others that follow suit on how our Lord and Savior is first and foremost forever faithful in our lives.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    Holy Mackeral This is a good book!!

    Hi. I recived this book from my aunt during Christmas and the other two. I love this. I know this is going to sound mean but to tell the truth, I really didn't symphizize with the mom. But I DID symphizize with Jenny her daughter BIG time. I did feel like Jenny at one time. No, nobody from my family died, it was a time in my life where I just felt...worthless. I'm not going to go into detail about my life but. The second time I read it, I CRIED!!!! And I never cry during books! So if anyone of you people feel like ending your life, READ THIS PLEASE!! P.S. I'm not making fun of anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2005

    recommended

    i could really relate to this book my husband past away this year and i felt just like hannah so angry i wanted answers, neglected my children due to just being lost i felt so betrayed by god i want answers..to the author thank you for writing this novel i just can't explain it..you know about death but you just always think this could never happen to my family and when it does the pain is so overwhelming that i actually had to put the book down a couple of times because i felt the exact same way...please continue to write novels about real life...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    amazing

    I loved this book! Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I finished the book in two days. It makes you think what kind of people are on the roads and what you could be faced with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2000

    Gut Wrenching and Gripping

    This story had me enthralled within twenty pages. I came face-to-face with the fears I have always had about the loss of my entire family. The book challenged and encouraged me. Far and away above most contemporary Christian fiction in both plot and composition.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Awesome

    This book was so inspiring and written so well, Recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Waiting for Morning

    Good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Waiting For Morning

    This was a really good beginning of a great trilogy by a fantastic author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Okay

    Some parts was very childish and hard to finish reading. The mothers role was horrible at times.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Forgiveness??

    Hannah has a loving Husband and two beautiful talented daughter's! Her Husband has taken Alicia and Jenny for their annual end of Summer fishing trip. As her day progress Hannah becomes more and more uneasy.
    As Tom and the girls are finally headed home after their wonderful trip, they are hit by a drunk driver. Brian, was driving drunk, had just lost his job, and ended up running a red light. Next thing he new a young girl was lying dead and her Dad was in horrible pain and dying.
    This is the story of harboring hate...wonder how I would react under such circumstances? Hannah has even giving up God, she blames him for taking her loved ones. She becomes obsessed with making Brian pay for killing her family, to the point of neglecting the daughter she has left.
    Deputy District Attorney Matthew J Bronzan has been assigned the case against Brian Wesley. He has decided to make a point and proceeds to go after a conviction of First Degree Murder. Hannah Ryan is more than willing to do all that she can to make Brian go to jail and rot in Hell.
    This is so very very hard, and even those these are just characters in a book, you know that this happens. Hannah is so filled with Hate, you wonder through all of this if she will ever find her way back?
    The book is a very fast mind effecting read. I do recommend this read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2011

    True to life

    I can say I truly enjoyed this book, even with all of its ups and downs. Waiting For Morning by Karen Kingsbury is sure to touch your heart. The struggles Hannah Ryan faces with losing a husband and daughter and another daughter seriously injured are very realistic. I have seen people fight a similar battle and I think Kingsbury captures the hurt, desire for revenge, and healing is incredibly realistic.

    If you enjoy books that touch the heart, that stir emotions, and that ring true in all our lives this us certainly a book you will enjoy. You will smile, cry, and hurt for the characters in this book as they struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together and find their new normal.

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The opinions contained within this review are my own.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Probably won't read again but nice once

    Hannah Ryan sits at home, waiting for her husband and daughters to return home from a camping trip. Instead, the police show up to tell her they were hit by a drunk driver and her husband and one of her daughters were killed. Hannah then has one thing on her mind -- revenge. She wants to see the drunk driver put behind bars. In her rage at this man she somehow manages to forget her living daughter. Can Hannah find forgiveness and save the family she has left?

    This was a good story. It was very depressing but it had a good message. I don't think it would be one of those stories that I'd read over and over again but it was nice to read once. Also, this is Christian Fiction and I review for a few Christian companies but this book was annoyingly "preachy". If you're one of those people who don't mind a good cry then this would be a good books for you. It will definitely make you cry and it has some very depressing parts. The reader is able to follow the journey of the widow who lost her husband and daughter, the daughter who lost her sister, father and feels the whole world wished she had died instead of her sister, the driver who made a mistake and drove while drunk resulting in casualties beyond anything he ever thought would happen and the lawyers who are passionate about what they do. It was great being able to get it from all the points of view. It made it more real and allowed me to feel more empathy to each character who made me angry because of stupid choices they were making.

    This was a complimentary copy from the publisher for my honest review.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Great book!

    It has been a wonderful summer and school is just about to begin for the new year. Another year of living and loving her family... 2 beautiful daughters and a doting, loving husband. As her husband Dr. Tom Ryan and girls return home from their annual "end of summer" campout, Brian Wesley is staggering out of a bar after drowning his sorrows in 14 drinks.


    A drunk driver
    A red light runner
    A family's life forever changed


    Hannah knew something was wrong. They were never this late getting home from their camping trip. Then a car stops at their house... a knock on the door... and words no wife wants to hear...


    "There was a serious car accident, ma'am..."


    After receiving the news of the horrific accident, Hannah Ryan heads to the hospital only to learn that her dear husband and eldest daughter Alicia died. Her faith in a good and loving God dies with them.


    As Sgt. Miller, a fellow believer, tries to comfort her, she responds, "I'm sure you mean well, Sgt. Miller, but you're just like every other Christian right now. 'It must be God's will.' 'They're home in heaven now.' 'God still loves you.' 'The Lord has a plan...'"


    "A wave of emotion choked off her words, and she had to swallow hard before she could continue. 'I don't want to hear it. Do you understand? Brian Wesley, age twenty-eight, married with one son, just destroyed my life! He took everything from me and left me with nothing, not even hope. He murdered my husband and daughter, and so help me God, I'll never forgive him as long as I live.'"


    * * * * * * * * * * *


    Karen Kingsbury has captured the heart and soul of a family torn apart by drunk drivers everywhere. She has given a voice to the family members left behind questioning the goodness of God. Why us? Where were you, God? You could have saved them!


    As we walk through the pages of the book, we can identify with the desolate feelings of both Hannah and Jenny. A mother bereft of her family... a daughter who yearns to be with her dad and sister in heaven. Can Hannah find her way back to God and true peace? Will she be able to forgive Brian? Will Jenny find a reason to live?


    We all walk through trials, illnesses, seemingly unnecessary deaths and more - bad things do happen to good people. Through the grace-filled writing of Karen Kingsbury, we see how even faith-filled families can have doubts and anger toward God.


    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


    I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review from Multnomah Books through Edelweiss Digital Books.



    Blessings,


    Ellen

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Powerful Story of Forgiveness

    "For two hours Hannah Ryan had fought off an exhausting list of possibilities while staring out her kitchen window but still there was no sign of her family. She wanted to pray, and even tried a time or two, but she held back. It only made the fear worse.
    Dread had begun to consumer her, and as the minutes became hours, she stopped looking for ways to keep busy. Instead she was continually drawn to the kitchen window, as if she could somehow make them appear by keeping watch. They should have called by now and anger joined the emotions warring within her.
    When the squad car pulled up, she was no longer fiddling with the pink sponge wiping and rewiping the sink, but rather she was frozen in place barely breathing, staring at the dusky cul-de-sac.
    A pit formed in her stomach and in that instant, she knew.
    She closed her eyes. Lock the door. Close the blinds. Get the car keys and leave. Anything but greet the officers who were walking deliberately up the sidewalk."

    From the very beginning of this powerful story readers can identify with the emotions Hannah Ryan is experiencing as she deals with anguish of losing her husband and daughter because of a drunk driver. Author Karen Kingsbury sensitively walks her readers through the heartbreak of both the victims and the drunk driver, Brian Wesley. It is a very thought provoking and moving read.

    The accident is just the beginning of a difficult journey Hannah and her surviving daughter, Jenny, must travel. The ripple effects of drunk driving tear through their lives. Hannah tries to live through her pain and her bitterness that God would allow such a thing to happen to a family that believed Him. She turns away from God and channels all her energy into seeing Brian convicted of murder and placed behind bars. Meanwhile, she neglects to see how Jenny's grief is much more than the young teen can handle. God places people in their lives to support Hannah, Jenny and Brian and draw them to Him. Ultimately, forgiveness brings healing and peace.

    Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book to me for review purposes.

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