Tiffany K. (olympianlady) wrote,
Tiffany K.
olympianlady

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Review: The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle

I absolutely loved this book. It is without a doubt one of the most heartbreaking books I've ever read, but also the most heartwarming, in an alternating pattern that varies throughout the book. Dealing with the aftermath of horrible child abuse in a way that is honest and real, there is no sugarcoating of facts to be found here. Obviously, things aren't blatantly described, but the author has no problem discussing the issue. But, at the same time, this is not a story about child abuse, but rather a story about triumph, survival, and the love and support of a family.

Sarah Laden, a recent widow struggling to now raise two boys entirely on her own, has her world turned upside down when a shocking secret is discovered about her long-time friends, the Kendrick family. Faced with the possibility that she may not have really known them at all, and that the woman most responsible for her recovery after the death of her husband may have had a far darker motive for her actions than Sarah could have ever imagined, the already fragile balance that is her everyday existence now seems to be more difficult than ever before. And when the Laden family makes the decision to add another child to the family, the traumatized young Jordan Kendrick, things become even more complicated yet. What hope is there for this family to survive, and can they find the happiness together that seems to have been missing for far too long?

For anyone who has ever followed the news, you know that the most horrible crimes are often committed by the seemingly most unlikely people. Friends and neighbors are almost always heard to say after the truth is discovered that they "had no idea" and "it can't be true, they're such nice people". It was good to read a book that takes this real-life rule to heart. The 'bad guys' here aren't the creepy or strange people that everyone steers clear of. Rather, they're seemingly normal family people who volunteer at school events, participate in their community, and are seemingly good friends or acquaintances to many people, all of whom have no idea of the truth until the police get involved. This book will haunt you, educate you, and hopefully let you understand the deeper issues a bit better. Yes, there are times that you want to grab one of the characters and slap them out of their denial, until you think about how you would feel in their position. For better or worse, the emotions and reactions in this book are true to real life, as unfortunate as that can sometimes be.

Without any doubts, this book definitely warrants 5/5 stars. This is one for the keeper shelf.

Tags: book reviews, books, reviews
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