Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Parting the Waters by Jeanne Damoff

I've developed a taste for biographies, but nothing has moved me as much as Jeanne Damoff's memoir, "Parting the Waters." With honesty, transparency and richness, Jeanne lets us inside her private life in a way few ever do.

At the end of his freshman year, Jeanne's oldest son, Jacob, went to enjoy a youth event with his friends from the school and youth group he attended. Calling home to ask for his mom to bring him a change of clothes, he was youthful, vibrant and carefree. Intense about his faith and his future, he was a son to be so proud of.

Which explains why, when another young boy from his group found himself in trouble in the water that day, Jacob tried to help. At least, that's what everyone suspects. Unfortunately, tragedy struck that day at the lake.

What follows is Jeanne's long journey through the darkest valley a mother can pass through. She is candid about her grief, her anger, and her despair...all felt amidst a faith that carries her through the most impossible events of her life.

Nothing is hidden from view in "Parting the Waters". This has to be one of the most candid memoirs I've written, and the truth and honesty found in these pages make it a powerful and moving experience.

Jeanne writes with such vivid language that you feel as if you are there with her when she receives news of her son's accident. Her pain becomes your pain, and her answers can become your answers as she asks some of life's toughest questions, like...

...Where was God when this happened?

...Why did He allow such suffering into the lives of such faithful believers?

...Will He be there for the future of the Damoff family?

...and how can any good come from such pain and loss?

Included in Jeanne's book are testimonies from those who shared in the events that unfolded in the days before and after the incident at the lake. People who knew the family, who are a part of the Damoff family, and from the family themselves. Each is another glimpse into the events of that day and the impact it had on these people.

Truly, this is one of the best books I've read in some time, and I cannot urge you enough to go out and find this book and read it. To share it with others. Especially those whose lives have been touched by pain and tragedy.

I myself have seen the miraculous hand of God move in so many ways. My nephew was critically injured in an auto accident when he was 14, and he was supposed to die from his injuries. Then, he was never going to walk again, nor would he ever be himself.

Today, he holds down a job, just asked his high school sweetheart to be his wife, and is as healthy and normal as could be. We give God the praise for this, but we also know that, had God chosen another way to give Himself glory, we would still praise Him.

Just as the Damoff family chooses to praise Him for their pain and suffering and what it has created in them and in others. So, I'm giving "Parting the Waters" the Golden bookmark for writing excellence and transparency of heart, and voting it "Best Memoir of 2009."

Do not miss this book. It will change your life it you allow it to.

Happy Reading!



Kim said...

I'm hearing a lot of good things about this one, Deena! Thanks for another great review!

Jeanne Damoff said...

Wow, Deena! Thanks so much for this lovely, thoughtful review. I'm honored and humbled by your enthusiastic recommendation.

Thanks also for the Golden bookmark for writing excellence and transparency of heart. Both of those qualities are important to me, so that's quite a compliment.

Even though it's only January, hopefully I'll manage to hold on to the "Best Memoir of 2009" status, too. :)

With love and gratitude,