“I give this book four stars.”
As in, four out of five. Well, nothing’s perfect from beginning to end. Do tell me why four and not five?
“She’s wasn’t angry at God. She just seemed to cling to him and hold so steady in her faith. I wouldn’t have been so faithful. Also, I didn’t get to see enough of her children’s response to their dad’s death. How did she tell her children? How did they respond? I wanted to know more.”
I see. Well, let me address those suggestions.
Yes, I was angry. Anger seemed to spill everywhere for a while, pointing in every direction, dripping from every pore. I didn’t even know all the things I was angry with and about. I couldn’t begin to list them, or rather I couldn’t complete an exhaustive list – it was too much.
I was angry because I found Robb’s shoes in the hallway, days after he had died, and it was only a crumb of the life he left behind. I was angry with the funeral director for having a typo on his paperwork. I was angry with the calendar for turning its pages. I was angry with the youth group who planned the sledding trip where Robb crashed into a tree, when he ruptured his spleen which ultimately led to his death twenty years later. I was angry with the mailman for bringing me anything with my husband’s name on it. I was angry with everyone who never knew him. I was angry with everyone who was married, in love, engaged, or remotely happy. I was angry.
And yes, a lot of that anger fell right into the hands of a righteous God. But the book on your shelf isn’t my journal, and frankly, you wouldn’t enjoy reading the depth, magnitude, and sheer number of pages of scrawling, black anger.
Publishers and editors know this. And they asked me to write the story with a little less of that darkness, please. With grace in their voices and a hand over mine, they said, “Tricia, when people say they can’t imagine what it’s like, they really don’t want to. You can’t take them there or nobody will read the book. And the goal is for people to read the book.”
As for the questions about my children and how they responded to their dad’s sudden and complete disappearance from their lives, I talked quite about this in the book. I wrote about how we processed together, the conversations we had, the questions we shared, and how we continue to make sense of it all.
It sounds like maybe you wanted more information, more details into those conversations and into their hearts. And this is a good time to respectfully remind you that they are not characters in a piece of literature. They are my children and this our lives.
If changing the story would give me one more star, then I’m okay with four.
And thank you for the review. Every single one counts.
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