If you enjoyed Garlough’s Sensible Shoes series, you’ll love this book also. It centers around Wren Crawford, a young woman suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks. She lives in Kingsbury, about ten years after the events of Sensible Shoes. You will once again meet Hannah, Mara, and Charissa and get some updates on their lives. You will also learn the back story of their spiritual director, Katherine, who turns out to be Wren’s Aunt Kit.
If you or a loved one has suffered from mental illness, you will be able to emphasize with Wren and her family. This is another story about surrendering to God — surrendering when life spirals out of control, or when we feel helpless to change the suffering and anguish experienced by someone else’s pain. How do we come alongside, yet still establish boundaries? It’s also about unanswered questions and how to go forward in our lives when difficult circumstances lack closure.
Wren’s story is interwoven with excerpts from the letters, art and life of the artist, Vincent Van Gogh, as well as the biblical concept of Jesus as “the man of sorrows.” It introduces the spiritual practice of visio divina –inviting God to speak to our heart as we contemplate an image.
I was disappointed that this book did not include any specific spiritual exercises or a study guide at the end. There is a list of recommended resources with organizations that can help with mental illness as well as books on suicide, grief, the art of Vincent van Gogh and spiritual formation.
VERDICT: 5 STARS. This book spoke to me on so may levels. I highly recommend it.
If you haven’t read the other books by Sharon Garlough Brown see these reviews: