Thursday, November 6, 2008

Notes in Review


by Maureen Lang

Reviewer: Sarah Varland

My Sister Dilly is one of the most realistic looks at faith struggles that I've read in a long time. It is a story of unfathomable depth that has an authenticity about it that makes the reader take a second look at life through the main character's eyes. At the end of the book, I was satisfied with the main character's journey, and how God revealed His love to her though complicated, sometimes unpleasant circumstances.

Hannah Williams does not like to focus on herself. Her whole life is built around her sister Dilly, whom she left behind years ago in Illinois while she went to make a life for herself in California. Dilly has just been released from prison for attempting to kill herself and her child. Hannah is still living in a prison of her own making, tormenting herself with the guilt of not being with her sister when she needed support from someone. Not even the threat of seeing her somewhat legalistic parents and being exposed to their rigid faith can keep Hannah from moving back to Illinois to take care of her sister and leaving her best friend and true love, Mac, in California.

This is a story of love on so many levels. I was struck with the love of Hannah for her sister and the selflessness it takes to put oneself on hold for another person. I enjoyed Maureen Lang's way of pointing out, though, that sometimes we can call something "love" and have good intentions, but not really be doing what is best for the other individual.

The best-friend love Hannah and Mac share is a breathtaking picture of the love that God has for His people. No matter how much we push Him away, He is there. No matter the excuses we give, He offers love anyway. We can do nothing to escape from His steadfast love. Hannah had known of God since her childhood, but didn't realize how personal and relationship oriented our God is until she experience His love through Mac.

This book is for anyone willing to take a fresh look at life, faith, and struggle. My Sister Dilly is a wonderful, entertaining read that will challenge you and uplift you. It is well written and the style is a beautiful reflection of the story itself. I highly recommend it.

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