October 14, 2014

Hidden Blessings: A Review

The book:
Diagnosis: breast cancer. Prognosis: terminal. Life: only beginning.

Her diamond caught the sun's rays and refracted glittered light about the room. She'd asked herself again and again: How could she be so blessed? Partner at a prestigious law firm, engaged to the man of her dreams . . . there was no doubt. God had smiled on Kendra Woods.

But the moment Kendra is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, her world collapses. Within days, Derek backs out of the wedding and the firm suggests a leave of absence during her treatment. Of all the roles Kendra has played over the years—daughter, sister, friend, student, attorney, bride-to-be—cancer patient seems the most unwelcome in the world.

When her path crosses with youth pastor Lance Alexander, Kendra sees only the troublemaker she knew in high school. But Lance could prove an unexpected spark. In the darkness that covers her, will Kendra be able to embrace a glimmer of hope?

The review: First let me begin with a confession. I almost didn't read this book. Yes, you read it right. When I heard the synopsis my mind shutdown instantly. I wasn't certain I would be able to emotionally digest this story.

Yet something was calling me to it. Perhaps it was the fact that I know this author and follow her blog. In my heart I knew there was an important reason for her penning this novel. 

And then there's the title, right. Hidden Blessings. In the best of times blessings are pretty easy to identify but when trials come we can quickly become short-sighted. Knowing that my vision is a bit skewed at the moment, I decided to request an advanced review copy of Hidden Blessings out of sheer curiosity.

I'm so glad that I did.

Let me begin by saying that all of Kim's books are very plausible. They are set in modern times and written in a very casual style. There isn't a lot of fluff but that certainly makes them no less valuable. In fact it leaves more room for the many important nuggets of truth buried within as gifts to the reader.

Hidden Blessings is no exception when it comes to treasure. I personally feel that the author has taken it "up a notch" with her latest book. It is packed full or realistic situations and spiritual truths. What depth for a fictional novel.

I was truly blown away.

Kim brings awareness to "inflammatory breast cancer" which I didn't even know existed. She paints a realistic picture of what it is like for someone who is young and successfully "living their dream" to experience a terminal diagnosis. She shows how grief and loss can impact lives in ways people never imagined.

Each one of her characters is so easy to relate to. You've encountered them one way or another in your daily walk whether you realize it or not.

I will admit, the premise for this story could be depressing at first glance. A young woman diagnosed with terminal cancer gets dumped by her fiance, leaves her dream job, and returns home to come to grips with her illness.

May I offer a word of advice. DO NOT allow the description of this book to scare you away.

There is so much more to the story. While I wouldn't dare give away the secrets and struggles of Kendra, Lance, Trey, and the other characters I will say that Hidden Blessings is a beautiful story full of love, hope and redemption. Not just for one of the characters but for many of them.

I was thoroughly engrossed in this book and stayed up late into the night to finish it. It was emotionally gripping. I found it impossible not to invest myself in the characters struggles and victories.

I also found myself uncovering many hidden blessings in my own life. I can't thank Kim Cash Tate enough for her latest work. Beautifully written it has in undeniable ways positively altered my thinking.

I highly recommend that you purchase this book. Plan on setting aside a block of time to read it because once you pick it up you'll have a very difficult time putting it down.

The author:  Kim Cash Tate is the author of The Color of Hope, Hope Springs, Cherished, FaithfulHeavenly Places, and the memoir More Christian than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is also a Bible teacher and women's ministry leader at The Gate Church in St. Louis. She and her husband have two children.

You can connect with Kim the following places: 

(My thanks to Netgalley.com for a copy of the manuscript)

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