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5.27.2010

One Mistake Away from Killing Someone

As I finished reading the latest book that I'm reviewing, I was struck by how many times in my life I've been one mistake away from killing someone. When I worked as a registered nurse, my decisions could change a life. I recall one time when I broke a rib on a patient when I started CPR only to discover she had a pulse after all. It made me afraid for the many decisions I'd be forced to make on the fly as a nurse. I often wondered, "What if I kill someone thinking I'm doing the right thing?"

I recall a time in the car when I leaned over to assist my gagging one-year-old (whose car seat I had illegally in the front seat). I nearly rear-ended a parked semi truck. In those pre-airbag days, I'd likely have killed both of us, but I swerved in time and then struggled to regain control of my skidding car. I've met people who weren't quite so fortunate. Without intending to, their decision or their mistake cost someone else their life. It's a sobering thought when I realize I could just as easily been one of those people. These thoughts traveled through my mind as I read Almost Forever by Deborah Raney. 

My Review of Almost Forever

I can’t imagine what it would be like to do something accidentally that causes the death of someone. What if that someone was 5 members of a fire department, including your own husband? In Almost Forever, Bryn Hennesey believes she might be responsible for the fire that took the lives of her husband and four of his comrades. In addition to grieving the loss of her husband, Bryn must figure out if she was negligent when the homeless shelter burned down while she was on duty.

Author Deborah Raney knows how to capture a reader and touch the emotions; and she brings her reader into the story in such a way that I couldn’t help asking myself what I would do if I were Bryn. I felt the raw emotion of grief and the self-doubt about a budding friendship with a husband who lost his wife in the same fire. I understood her dilemma over needing a listening ear but wondering what people would think about their friendship so soon after the loss.

Raney writes well and I enjoyed the story very much. If I had one disappointment with the book, it was that it was a little too predictable on several aspects of the plot. However, the author did a marvelous job of incorporating scriptural truth without it standing out or seeming pasted in. That’s commendable when so much of Christian fiction doesn’t do that well. The message of grace and the emphasis on telling the truth despite the consequences were both solid and convicting.

I’d definitely recommend Deborah Raney for any reader who hasn’t already checked her out.

Note: In exchange for my fair and honest review, I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publicist.
About the Author

The award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty novels, Deborah Raney always delivers poignant stories of what it means to wrestle with the realities of a world in chaos...and emerge triumphant.

Her books have received the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her novel, A Vow To Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title.

Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four grown children and two precious grandsons, all of whom live much too far away.

 What About You?

Has an unexpected tragedy cause you to deep grief? Are you grieving about a mistake that you made? You can experience grace! Feel free to contact Michelle by e-mail if you'd like someone to pray for you. Or leave a comment below and share your experience.

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