Thursday, April 26, 2012

Charlene Reviews: In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long

ISBN #: 978-0615608327
Page Count: 334
Copyright: March 27, 2012
Publisher: In Leah's Wake

(Taken from Amazon)

The Tylers have a perfect life - beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine, more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years, just wants her sister's approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly together kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life ... until Leah meets Todd, a high school dropout and former roadie for a rock band.

As Leah's parents fight to save their daughter from a world of drugs, sex, and wild parties, their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage. Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Justine observes her sister's rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family - leaving her to question whether anyone loves her and if God even knows she exists.

Can this family survive in Leah's wake? What happens when love just isn't enough?

Charlene's Review:

In Leah's Wake is the story of the Tyler family. The oldest daughter, Leah, has always been the star soccer player, but feels the pressures of her father taking over the enjoyment of the game. As her life revolves around practices, the next game, and scholarships, Leah meets Todd, and a whole new life opens up. As she begins to see more of him, she slowly spirals into a life of parties, drugs, and lies. When her parents attempt to step in, they can't agree on the right approach and their family begins to fracture. Younger daughter, Justine begins to feel invisible, and eventually begins to emulate her sister. A near-death experience may be the only thing that saves Leah, and her family.

In reading this story, my heart really went out to the parents. For all their good intentions, they just couldn't seem to stay out of their own way. Being a parent of teenagers, I completely identified with their feelings of love, anger, and helplessness. To quote my favorite passage in the book, where Will, the father, is remembering the words of his mother, "Your children will bring you the greatest joy in your life," she'd said. "And they'll break your heart." It was truly saddening to watch as Leah fell further away from her family, and they couldn't bridge the gap.

Full of emotion, realistic family relationships, rebellion, and most of all the love of not-quite perfect parents, who despite setbacks, never gave up, In Leah's Wake is a must read for parents who feel lost, teenagers who feel misunderstood, and pretty much everyone who has ever loved a good ending.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Charlene,

    Thank you so very much for your wonderful review! That, as the parent of teens, you felt a connection to the story means the world to me.

    Leah's parents, while imperfect, truly do love their daughter and want to right by her - and, as you say, they never give up! I'm so grateful to you for pointing this out!

    Thank you again - so very, very much! I hope you have a wonderful day!

    Warmest wishes,



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