One Perfect Day (2008)
One Perfect Day (2008)
3.7 of 5 Votes: 5
0446582107 (ISBN13: 9780446582100)
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This is the story of two mothers, one who has lost a child and her faith; one whose daughter has been given a new chance at life and who relies on prayer to restore health to her child.It is Christmas and Nora is planning for the perfect Christmas because she knows that once her 17 year old twins go off to college the following year, life for all of the family will change. Little did she know that the change would come before Christmas Day would arrive. Dealing with the tragic loss of one of her children, she loses all interest in life, her family, her friends, her health, and most of all she has lost her faith in God.Jenna Montgomery is also planning for the perfect Christmas because she knows that her twenty year old daughter could very well be celebrating the holiday one last time. A severe heart defect has plagued her daughter for most of her life and Jenna recognizes the symptoms easily. She has seen them many times as a mother and as a nurse. But, one telephone call from the family doctor has given Jenna hope.The story of both families is told in alternating chapters. For me, I felt Nora's pain more than I felt Jenna's joy. Nora's anger and resentment for the loss of her son seemed to outshine Jenna's joy and hope, partly because everything just seemed to fall in place for Jenna and her daughter with the arrival of Jenna's brother-in-law. That part of the story seemed to take over, focusing on the relationship between the two of them, rather than on Jenna's daughter--it seemed that Jenna became the main character in that story line.While I cringed at Nora's outrage and her treatment of friends and family, especially of her surviving child, I could understand it. It took several months for Nora to begin to function as a wife, a mother, a friend. I imagine that that would be the case for any parent dealing with the death of a child. Jenna? I just didn't feel much of what she herself should have, in my opinion, have been feeling at the thought that her daughter could resume a healthy, active life. She had stars in her eyes for her own future and that bothered me.And the end? I felt as though I hit a brick wall in the last chapter. I was waiting for the final chapters on both of the women and suddenly the book ended. It was as if the author had tired of writing and just wanted to finish the story at all costs. It was a disappointment for me. In parallel, alternating chapters, One Perfect Day follows the lives of these two women as their story unfolds. When tragedy strikes the Peterson’s home, the family is left to make a hard decision about organ donation. The story centers much around this decision being made in the core of intense grief, a decision that can very well save others lives.Nora’s story is one of battling grief and loss, as well as struggling with the depression that can follow such tragic events. As she questions everything, her family and her best friend try hard to wrap her in love. How does one go on after something like this happens? How does one get up in the morning? Breath? Forgive? Heal?Jenna’s story follows the miracle side of her daughters new heart. Sure there are opportunities for heart rejection, but now that this big weight is lifted off their lives and the impending thoughts of “their last Christmas together” seems to disappear and as each day shows improvement and healing… it makes room for something else in Jenna’s life. Something there was no room for in the fear of losing her daughter….There is hope. The two families never meet and I think that is a brilliant choice by author Lauraine Snelling. It would have been easy to pull them together in the end and let them see what they have done for each other… both healing in their own sense of the word. The fact that this is not the case, adds a sense of imbalance as you wonder whether their paths will cross and the result is a good read, without the all too neat ribbon and bow packaging in the end.I have to admit, I do not read many Christmas related stories due to the overall neatness that seems to be within the pages of such reads. The overall sugary perfect effect leaves me with nothing to ponder on. This was not the case in One Perfect Day. This book left me not only with thoughts on families coping with tragedies the best they know how, but also on the importance of organ donation.This book is a recommended read this winter as you curl up in a comfy chair and a hot cup of cocoa. A small, quick read that packs a lot of punch within its pages.Enjoy!Lauraine Snelling is a Christian Fiction author who with this book, I have now read for the first time. She has a wonderful way with character development. Her story weaves and twists between the two families as smoothly as though she were figure skating.
sad, must read with a tissue...
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