When the wife of a deployed Navy chaplain begins to experience severe symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she is completely incapable of handling the day-to-day activities of life on her own. At first she's too stubborn and too fearful to admit that she needs help. She retreats into the safety of her home, afraid to venture out even to the grocery store. But as the episodes of anxiety and nightmares become increasingly worse, she knows she needs help. She embarks on a pay-it-forward-type project to do a good deed for one person every day. Through her project--and with the help of an unlikely mixture of hurting people like herself--she finally sees light glimmering at the end of the dark tunnel she's walking through.
This book is beautifully written, and Penny is such a realistic character that at times it's painful to read her struggles. Sharon Hinck has such a lyrical way with words that at times I stopped reading to go back and savor a beautifully phrased sentence. Other times my eyes flew across the page, drinking in the story as I went. There are so many wonderful elements in this plot -- the delightfully odd next-door-neighbor, the long-lost brother with a frightening past, the charming and boisterous mission workers, the well-meaning mother and sister who make matters worse with their "just snap out of it" advice. I love a book that teaches me something (in this case, about PTSD) without lapsing for even a single moment into a preachy tone.
One reason I like Sharon Hinck's books is because she's so versatile. As a reader, I like books in different genres with vastly different styles. And Sharon writes books in different genres with vastly different styles. This book is completely different from her Sword of Lyric series, but the story is equally compelling, equally enjoyable, and equally steeped in the truth of God's powerful presence in our lives.
I encourage you to buy this book from your local book store. But if you order online, click the book cover.