survivor's guilt, legal devices and desires, and Christian love in this tale

Sheila Deeth

4 Stars

October 9, 2012

A mother waits for her family’s return from a trip. A young man loses his job and his hope for the future. Then cars and lives are turned upside-down, tangled and destroyed in Karen Kingsbury’s Waiting for Morning. Survivor’s guilt looms large. Unforgivable sins meets a strong woman’s fury. And the kindly-meant prayers of strangers and friends really don’t seem to change the world. Not at the point where anger meets God’s betrayal.

We often ask why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Like this novel’s protagonist, we might know God is faithful when we go to church. Then we fool ourselves he’ll answer every prayer the way we choose. But what if he doesn’t? What happens when the trouble we face is more than our hearts can hold? How will we act when the lawcourt is the only place offering answers?

Relationships are beautifully, heart-breakingly portrayed in this novel. Memories fly unanchored from everyday clutter, from photographs, from the space of an empty bed. Mothers against drunk drivers offers an answer, but losing herself in search of purpose is only a temporary gift; it doesn’t help Hannah’s surviving child, and ultimately it isn't helping Hannah. Depression looms but she’s too busy to see it and too angry to listen to advice.

Breathing the truth that God doesn’t desert us, even when we desert him, this novel is filled with honest emotion and seeded with faith that grows through life’s broken cracks. Not a simple Christian tale, not an angry MADD novel either, Waiting for Morning presents an evocative picture of real people facing real trials and coming through to real hope. Unbelievers might call the answers to prayer coincidence. Believers, even reluctant believers like Hannah, might come to know more. And in the end, God’s faithfulness gives the only true verdict.

Disclosure: I received a free copy from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.