Title: Lake Surrender
Author: Carol Grace Stratton
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5+ stars out of 5
In the story, we are introduced to a woman who is losing her job, has two children with one being autistic and a looming divorce. The woman’s name is Ally and on top of all these changes, she must move as she is unable to keep her home with her diminishing income. A single aunt invites Ally to come to Michigan until she can figure out where life is going.
As I read this fictional story, I could easily imagine the stress of being a single parent on top of having a special needs child. Ally’s daughter, Kylie, loves her brother and feels the responsibility to help with him, losing out on some of her own activities at the young age of 12. I found it interesting that the family had no spiritual life whatsoever and didn’t at first even feel the need for God. Only when they all come to certain points in their journey through the maze of job searching, starting over, finding a place to settle and more were their hearts open to even hear about Jesus. I thought this is pretty much reflected in the lives we witness in our sphere of doing life.
The further I read, the more the tale developed and a mystery began to emerge around the camp grounds in Michigan where Ally resided. The straight forward manner in which Ally speaks to others brings some high praise from people and conflict with others. When the camp in Michigan needs a cook, Ally takes the job without any former experience. It was intriguing how her character handled the inner thoughts and feelings about her new level of employment.
Towards the end the climax rises as Ally must decide if she is going to live out her faith or instead hold on to unforgiveness in her heart. Sometimes in real life children have a way to help us choose what is right whether by challenging questions they ask or an action they take. The theme of selfless service, forgiveness and owning one’s own shortcomings is enlightening and rarely seen in some novels I have read. The book was enjoyable to sit and read and at times caused me to reflect on growing up with one of my siblings who is a special needs person. God used my sister to touch my heart and life in a way no other person can and that too is a truth reflected in the tale. Thanks Carol for writing a heart-gripping novel with compassion and care in showing how families may or may not stay together when raising a person who has special care needed their whole lives. Also for showing us that we cannot do anything without leaning completely on our Lord!
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