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Mistaken Identity  By  cover art

Mistaken Identity

By: Don Van Ryn,Susie Van Ryn,Colleen Cerak,Whitney Cerak,Newell Cerak
Narrated by: Lillian Thayer
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Publisher's Summary

Part 1: Reunion or Farewell?
The story begins as Colleen and Newell Cerak first learn the doubtful, then shocking news that their daughter, buried five weeks earlier, may still be alive. It continues with Colleen's drive to the hospital with the dental records, amidst desperate calls to Newell, overseas on a mission, and finally the reunion. Forming a backdrop to the reunion are the faces of the Van Ryn family, strangers to the Ceraks, who are just coming to terms with the harsh reality that the girl whose bedside they have been posted at for five weeks is not their daughter after all - and that their own daughter, Laura, has already been buried under the name of Whitney Cerak.

Part 2: Five Weeks or a Lifetime?
Part 2 begins the night of the accident and continues up through "Laura's" arrival in the emergency room. The rest of this section centers upon the five weeks when the Ceraks believed their daughter to be dead, and the Van Ryns cared for a girl that was not their own. Woven into these chapters are the back stories of both families and their daughters, including the key questions of how each of these individuals reached a point at which they could respond to this tragedy as they did. A strong element of this story is how the families came to faith and how that faith developed to the point where they could trust God through the unthinkable. The characters all take on full dimensions in this part, and listeners will identify with and feel a strong affection for them. In this section, both families are still separated, traveling down two different arcs. These arcs come together in the night first described in chapter one. Finally, this section will explore the unfolding drama of the Van Ryn's growing doubts that the girl in the hospital is their daughter.

©2008 Susie Van Ryn; 2008 Newell Cerak; 2008 Don Van Ryn; 2008 Colleen Cerak; 2008 Whitney Cerak (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.

What listeners say about Mistaken Identity

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

I have listened to this book numerous times. Being from Michigan this story was in the news quite a bit. Both of these families have great amounts of strength and courage. I have and would again recommend this book to my friends.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

This book was very compelling. I watched the 60 minutes report on this and just had to get the book/audiobook on this story. It was very well written.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Mistaken Identity

this was a great book. I can't imagine this happening to anyone. my prayer are with those who still need them.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Christian Values ...

This is an excellent audio book! What beautiful people both families are. What deep love for God that walks the walk and doesn't just talk the talk. Very moving and touching! Excellent choice!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

sad but wonderful story

unreal what happens to these families, but the strong faith they have is wonderful! i must hear story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Life is what you make it

Amazing story with a strong religious overtone much needed by the families involved but perhaps not what the listener bargained for.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Read

I really loved this book, I cannot imagine how these two families made it through emotionally aside from God's mighty love. This book also had, I believe, a conformation in it for me. it is something I thought I should do, but never did it. God is amazing how He reveals things. I had been looking for a good book to listen to and I stumbled across a story that mentioned this book. I bought it immediately. The strength and courage to move on and beyond is amazing to me. It is such a testimony of people's faith in God and how we should rely on Him at all times. We should never give in to the grief, but to continue to hold on to Him. We do not know what His plan is for us, and we must keep clinging to Him. He is our strength and perseverance. He is our guide through this life, we just need to hang on through the good and the bad. Because there is free will, there will always be evil. Because there is human life, there will be human death. They payoff in the end will be an everlasting joy in the presence of the Lord with no pain, evil, wrongdoing, or anything else Lucifer could come up with to corrupt God's masterpiece. I believe this book has led many to God for His comfort to make it through the best and the worst times.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story, lots of "GOD" talk.

OK. This is a very interesting story. I had heard condensed versions before on mystery and true crime podcasts. The story here is told well by a good narrator, especially considering that the families are not authors.
BUT, in my opinion there is too much GOD talk. I guess now that I know the families are evangelical Christians, it makes sense. And their experience WAS deep. Maybe it is common in midwestern, small town communities. But I find it hard to believe people talk like this constantly. If that bothers you, it will bother you. If not, then it won't.
Good story, ok book.

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    5 out of 5 stars

An Amazing Story of Triumph

This story restored my hope in humanity. The sorrow, joy and pain of loosing a child but gaining her back. The hope and anticipation of healing and recovery. All relying on God's amazing love for everyone involved. My faith has received a boost!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great testimony!

I remember when this was in the news, but hearing it in the words of the families involved really told an amazing testimony of love, healing, and what true Christianity is all about!