Monday, April 6, 2009

My Son John by Kathi Macias - MY REVIEW

“And just whom do I call to repot the theft of my family pictures, I wondered. Or should I say, the theft of my family?” (p. 151)

When I got about three chapters into Kathy Macias’ book, My Son John, I just had to get on the internet and find out how this lady could write so candidly about such a horrible time in her life. I was convinced that I was reading a true life account of a son murdering his grandmother – from the mother’s point of view! I was genuinely shocked to find out I was reading fiction! The emotions and thoughts in this story are so real and convincing that you will have to remind yourself that this horrible thing hasn’t really happened.

Just as you convince yourself the story is fiction, you will have to pick your heart up off the floor when you realize it has happened – over and over again. Drugs are stealing families from one another just as surely as someone stole Liz’ purse from her car. Liz and Charles Peterson learn first-hand in the most painful way imaginable what drugs can do to a mind when they face the destructive force of their son John’s addiction. From the moment the police come to the door to report the death of their loved one, the Peterson family begins to descend into an abyss darker than they could ever imagine.

However, God is there – even in the darkness. Amid the anguished tears, sleepless nights, difficult conversations and even more difficult prison visits, God begins to reach the Peterson’s in a way only He can. Even though the story is told primarily from Liz’ point of view, the reader is able to see what God is doing in the hearts of each family member as time passes. The journey is not easy, nor is it brief or painless, but the truth each person discovers within the trial is eternally precious.

My Son John bears a life-changing message. Summed up in the wisdom of Liz’ father as she visited his bedside in the story is a wonderful truth, “No matter how they turn out, no matter what they do, we just keep on loving them don’t we?” (p. 191) In a world where addictions are robbing many families of their loved ones, we all need to learn what it means to love someone as Christ first loved us – unconditionally.


Mocha with Linda said...

I had the same thoughts. I kept looking to see if this was really a fiction book.

It did make me think a lot of Carol Kent's book When I Lay My Isaac Down. I wasn't surprised to see Carol Kent as a resource.

Kathi Macias said...

Though My Son, John is a novel, it was birthed out of many years of jail/prison ministry--and just being a mom who recognizes what a joyful but painful journey that can be at times. Thank you, Kim, for such a thoughtful and sensitive review.