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Friday, November 8, 2013

To Know You

About the authors: Shannon Ethridge is a best-selling author, speaker, and certified life coach with a master's degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University. She has spoken to college students and adults since 1989 and is the author of 21 books, including the million-copy best-selling Every Woman's Battle series. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs and mentors aspiring writers and speakers through her BLAST Program (Building Leaders, Authors, Speakers & Teachers.)

Learn more about Shannon:

Kathryn Mackel is a best-selling author and acclaimed screenwriter for Disney and Fox. She was on the screenwriting team for Left Behind: The Movie, and Frank Peretti's Hangman's Curse. She is the acclaimed author of "The Surrogate", "The Departed", and "The Hidden" and resides in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband.

Learn more about Kathryn:

About the book: Julia Whittaker's rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker's son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds---and his liver---crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a "living liver" transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon's time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.

But can Julia ask a young woman---someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with---to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she's never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?
And what if she discovers in her own daughters' lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she's probably embarking on a fool's errand---searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?

In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.

My Thoughts:
It's been a long time since I've read a book that has left the affect on me that To Know You has . Ethridge and Mackel have written a story that is gritty and edgy, but beautiful at the same time.  The characters are believable and their lives, while messy, portray a genuineness from which the story of redemption and grace shine brightly.  This is not your typical Christian fiction where everything is nice and tidy.  The authors write with raw honesty...the struggles with sin are is tested and tried...mistakes are made and made again.
I appreciated being able to hear from each voice within an intricately woven plot.  Ethridge and Mackel waste no words.  There is something profound and thoughtful on every page of this story. I would love to be a fly on the wall in any book club that would choose To Know You as its selection. With the depth of emotion and the rich characterization in the book, the discussion would be amazing.  A Reading Group Guide is included and the questions are well developed and helpful in laying ground for thoughtful discussion of the themes and characters in the story. 
The grace, mercy and scandalous love of God that is able to transform the messiest of lives and the most heartbreaking circumstances is the theme of this book.  Ethridge and Mackel have a gift and I consider myself blessed to have come across their gift.  The best part is the story continues in Veil of Secrets which will be available out July 2014.  I've cleared off a spot on my keeper shelf for To Know You and another spot beside it will be ready for July of next year!  
*Thank you Litfuse Publicity for sending the book for the purpose of this review and blog tour participation!
*To see what others are saying about the book, go HERE
Enter Today | 11/1 - 11/19
Shannon Ethridge's TO KNOW YOU

Happy Reading,