I loved listening to this audio book. Beth Wiseman develops the characters and relationships well, and you feel as if you are there with them. It was easy listening and I was never bored. I will definitely be listening to the next book in the series.
This book had high reviews, but it was not what I thought. The first half of the book was interesting, as it built up a story line about Donny. But, I still don't understand why so much time was spent on Donny, when the book was supposedly about Swagger. In fact, most of the time was spent on Donny. By the time I got to the later part of the book, I didn't care that much about Swagger because there wasn't a lot of time building up his character. I had a hard time believing that Swagger could marry Donny's widow--based upon how they described Swagger and described the widow. Donny's widow is almost a one dimensional character, even though she is written about through-out the entire book. Basically all we learn about her is that she is really beautiful. That's it. She's not given much personality. I thought it was shallow and demeaning that thoughts of her by both men were really only about the fact that she was pretty. No mention of kindness, personality---nothing. Swagger is described almost like a red-neck. No reason is ever given as to why this beautiful woman would want to marry Swagger. Complete disconnect there. There is no mention of how they actually got together. Toward the end, the book completely deteriorated and became cheesy and just embarrassing. It was predictable in an overdone kind of way. With all that said, Beau Bridges did a good job of narrating. His style seemed to fit the military-type story. All I can say about this book is, skip it.
Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II is now one of my favorite books. I can’t believe I never heard of Darlene’s story before reading this book. Darlene’s kindness, thankfulness, and persevering spirit come through in the writing of her book. Even though she went through severe trials as a prisoner of war, she always trusted in God and His sovereignty.
She shares countless instances of God’s protection over her. When the Japanese were about to take over, she and other missionaries were given the opportunity to board a ship to escape. She and her husband prayed about what they should do and both felt led to stay. All the missionaries in their group decided to stay, and they found out the next day that the ship was torpedoed and everyone on board died.
Darlene spent four years in a POW camp, separated from her husband, only to find out that her husband died. I was continually amazed by the wisdom she had, as she went through this experience in her early 20′s. Several things struck me about her life. First, she was continually thankful to God. She thanked God for the meager 2/3 cup mixture of rice, pebbles, and worms that she received every day. I must admit that I would have had a difficult time being thankful for that, yet she was. Her thankfulness in the midst of cruelty was truly amazing. I was also struck by her knowledge of scripture, which had been committed to memory. While in solitary confinement without a bible, she was able to meditate on the many bible passages that she had memorized. I was struck by the number of songs she knew, and how often she sang and worshiped the Lord in the midst of difficult times. She was also prepared to die and be with the Lord. She set her mind on things above. She was almost beheaded, but saved moments before her execution.
After reading several stories of women persevering through trials (Book, “If I Perish I Perish” and books by Joni Eareckson Tada) I see a pattern of worship. Darlene, along with other women who have gone through very difficult trials continually sang and worshiped God. When Darlene was taken to solitary confinement, and realized the cell she had been brought to was on death row, she fell to the floor singing. That made me realize how few songs I have committed to memory, and the importance of singing to the Lord during trials. Reading this book gave me a better perspective on my own trials, which are nothing in comparison. Even though this book chronicles the severe suffering of Darlene and the other POW’s, her uplifting spirit and sense of humor takes you through her experiences with the right perspective, and you can’t help but praise God who works all things together for good. After listening to this audio book I purchased a paperback book so I could go back and refer back to the book. I will be listening to this book again.
I enjoyed listening to
Joni Eeareckson Tada talks opening about the chronic pain that she experiences on a daily basis, and how she must live day by day in dependence upon God. She shares many other stories about adults and children who are confined to a wheelchair due to their disability, and their stories of courage and faith in God are inspiring.
Joni narrates this book, and she does it in a conversational way that makes you feel as if you were sitting with her at her home, as she pours out her heart and shares the wisdom that she has learned through suffering. She sings a few short songs, which I have to say make this book precious. To hear her sing to the Lord through her pain is a special gift that she gives to us.
Joni talks about the Sovereignty of God over out trials, and how He works all things together for good. Working all things together for good sometimes means that He does not take the trial away. Joni shares how in the early days of her paralysis she prayed continually that God would heal her. She now sees the countless people who have been helped through her ministry because God chose not to heal her. One thing that really struck me in this book was when she talked about taking your eyes off your own problems and helping others. She gave examples of people she met who lay aside their own daily challenges to offer assistance to others. This book is not just for those who suffer from chronic pain or a disability. I was greatly encouraged by this book and it gave me a better perspective on how a Christian should view any kind of suffering in trials.
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