Jacob's List

Jacob's List

by Stephanie Grace Whitson


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Jacob's List 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
exlibrisbitsy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When you lose a child it is considered ¿the worst loss¿. For the Nolans the loss of their son doesn¿t just risk destroying their world, it also risks tearing them apart, as he was the only thing that was keeping them together.It can take up to two years before parents can even think about getting over the loss of their child. In Jacob's List this is shortened a little for literary license but the very real grief and devastation that these parents felt. A lot of my expectations were blown away by it.Keep in mind this is a Christian novel. There were a lot of Christian themes and both parents are profoundly affected by a transformation in Christ that is one of the main themes of the book. I appreciated that a lot of the biblical conversion stuff was saved until later in the novel so that you could get wrapped up in the story first. I was irked that it was implied that the only way they could really expect full healing and forgiveness was through Christ, a common Christian theme but I personally am open to other options if it helps people.I also personally felt that the African American character was painted and wielded very awkwardly by the author. I think the character was depicted in an over the top manner in an attempt to accentuate the novel's racial diversity. This was damaged a bit by the fact that, when it came right down to it, the Christian acquaintance was more of a help in her time of her need than her (non-Christian) friend for life. There were also a few other subtle snubs to this (sexually active in a committed relationship, feminist) "friend" throughout that I didn't really appreciate.As for the positives, I did think that the depression and suffering experienced by the Nolans was very well drawn and very realistically portrayed. You understood how devastating this loss was for them, and could empathize with their suffering. Even shortened as it was their process of healing was very believable and their quest towards forgiveness was portrayed as realistically difficult and painful to achieve.Any Christian that has experienced the loss of a loved one would appreciate this book. Those that aren't Christians and have no desire to be will probably find it as patronizing and difficult as the parents initially did. Despite that, Jacob's List teaches that we each should do the things we want to do while we are alive, "live it up" and sky dive, or rock climb, or take that one trip you've always meant to. You never know when a day might turn out to be your last. Reach out, help others and live life while you have it.Favorite Quote: You want to what?!" She and Michael had blurted it out in unison as they stared down at the typewritten list. "Do these things before I settle down." He weighted the piece of paper down with the ketchup bottle and then took another bite of burger talking while he chewed. "Actually, I want to do a lot more - but I narrowed it down to ten for now." Pam set her own sandwich down and read the list again with a combination of anger and terror. Hang-gliding. Rock-climbing. Sky-diving. "Isn't there something you'd like to do that isn't potentially lethal?"
Guest More than 1 year ago
Stephanie Grace Whitson has set a new paradigm for Christian authors with Jacob¿s List. I don¿t want to give any of this hard-hitting story away, so this review will be short. But Whitson has delivered a portrayal of emotions so realistic in characters so life-like, I experienced them with Pam and Michael. But what stayed with me the most was the conversion scene. It was one of the most natural conversions I¿ve read. No manipulation, no voices in the sky, no renewed instant joy, no dramatic anything. Just an honest choice brought about by the circumstances. How life-like. How believable. And something a non-Christian could perhaps relate to? This is one book I will give to a friend who is grieving a lost marriage. It¿s a book of hope. And forgiveness. A book this reviewer gives her highest recommendation. By the way, you¿ll love Rambo. Now if I could only get my dog to do the things he does.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
This was a really thought provoking and sad book. It shows all the parties that are affected by an accidental death, from the parents to the man who caused the accident, to his wife, to the officer who found the accident, to his family, to even the grave keepers. The characters really stay with you after reading. You feel their struggles and their anger and pain. But amid all the sadness there are several moments of laughter in this book with the Novac family. I liked the meatloaf talk and the Ninja night. That was really awesome reading about how that family helped out those in need. I also really liked Rambo! From his description, I kept imagining a small cute little poodle, but then looking on the author's website it appears that Rambo is one of the big tall poodles! So that completely changed my image of him! But I love at how obedient he is and how he listens to Pam and Mike and even suffered when Jacob died. I was thinking though, from the cover and the summary on the back, that Jacob's parents were going to take over his list and do everything that he couldn't. So it confused me when I was getting near the end of the book and they still hadn't fully made up yet. Interestingly I don't recall reading anywhere in the book where they go backpacking together. However, the purpose of the story is written extremely well. If you or anyone you know has suffered the loss of a child, this book is perfect and helps to understand that you are not only in your grieving. Beautifully written and highly recommended.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Twenty years old Jacob ¿Jake¿ Nolan has drawn up a personal list of ten items he wants to do before he settles down. However, when he dies in an accident, his wealthy parents Pamela and Michael are shattered as they doted on him and he was the prime reason they remained together.------------ Both grieve differently and separately even when they go on a Hawaiian vacation. Still they have Jake¿s list and Pamela and Michael would like to complete his quest. Friends try to be there for them and they attend a workshop ¿How to Help a Grieving Friend¿ (actually al self-help book written by Ms. Whitson) together. However, as their marriage appears to be on the brink of imploding both knows bad things happen to good people is part of the mystery of God¿s master plan.---------- This is an interesting look at grief from the perspective of two parents who cannot turn to one another for solace when a bad thing happens to a loved one. The three prime characters come across as fully developed although Jake is actually seen through the eyes of his parents so the audience extrapolates what the grieving pair hold in common about their son as the most likely truth. Stephanie Grace Whitson provides a well written primer on HOW TO HELP A GRIEVING FRIEND cope through the barely surviving Nolans.------------- Harriet Klausner