A Short Life Well Lived
A Short Life Well Lived
This just might be the saddest book I have ever read. Brian O'Connor is an attorney. He fights for justice and understands black and white. There is one thing about, Tom, that would shock most seeing his day to day life. He is blind. Although he lives a sightless life from our aspects, he sees better than most. He is the husband every woman dreams of and the father of two children, Tommy and Shannon. Life is good for this Irish Catholic family. Bridgette, Tom's wife, is faithful and true to all she believes. Brian, on the other hand, doesn't really believe, but they make a choice to raise their children up in the Catholic church.
Brian has a guide dog that is never missing from his side. I love the relationship we see between man and his dog. This is a deep relationship. Life is good for the O'Connor family until a baseball game changes everything. Tommy is pitching and breaks his arm. This isn't just a break, it is much more. Cancer.
This book is more so of a journal of the journey of this family as, Tommy, is diagnosed with cancer. It is told from, Brian's perspective. We see the battle he faces. One that we hope we never have to face. This story broke my heart. It was a difficult read for me.
Through this tragedy that touches this family, Brian, begins meeting with Rev. Clayton McRae. They form a friendship and a bond that is unbreakable. Brian begins asking questions as Rev. McRae lovingly shares Christ with him. Brian is asking, "If there is a God, why would He do this to a young boy?" I love how Rev. McRae doesn't force Christ on Brian, but simply shares his heart with him. He makes himself available. He shares Christ with, Brian in a way that, Brian, can understand. Brian and Rev. McRae begin running. I felt this tied in beautifully with this story. We are all running a race and wow, can we run a greater distance with the Lord at our side.
We see, Brian, come to faith. There is so much more! This is a lovely story of family, life, and love. It is one that will touch your heart. This book touches the lines of denominations and faith. Although there are many denominations, there is only one true faith. I am telling you to prepare yourself. This will not be a book you soon forget.
Now,with that being said, I wanted more. As a Christian novel I wanted to see the gospel truly shared. I wanted to see Rev. McRae share the gospel with, Tommy, through this battle of cancer. I wanted to see, Brian, and his new found faith reach out to his family more and share what he had be treasured with seeing. He once was blind, but now he sees. I think there are so many beautiful aspects to this book. It just might be one that I must go back and read again to grasp the whole meaning. It is a novel that broke my heart and brought me to a place of being more open to share the gospel in love to those who cannot yet see it's beauty.
This book was a gift from Glass Road Publications for it's review.
August 31, 2011
touching story, honest questions
Brian O'Connor is a husband, a father, a lawyer, and is blind. He's the lead prosecutor for the Metropolitan Boston District Attorney, where he has spent ten years. Though he was born in a tenement in South Boston his parents provided him with the education that allowed him to be where he is today.
He has a loving wife, Bridgette, and a son, Tommy and daughter, Shannon. Life is good. Tom even helps coach little league, where Tommy is a pitcher. But at an exciting game, Brian hears a crack, not from a bat, then hears his son screaming. Tommy has broken his right arm pitching.
The news at the hospital is not good. The break is odd and further tests show cancer. Thus begins a long battle for eleven year old Tommy.
The story is written from Brian's viewpoint and we share his frustration. While Bridgette has a strong faith in God as a practicing Catholic, Brian does not. We participate in the dialogue between Brian and the chaplain at the hospital. We wonder too as Brian asks how one can love a God who lets your young son die of cancer. (There is much discussion on how a good God can allow such evil to happen.)
Tommy is amazing throughout the chemo and the declining days. (You have to know from the title that he dies.) He has talked with the chaplain too and he knows where he will be when he dies.
This is a very touching story. The author is himself blind so the life of Brian is very realistic. I was disappointed that there was not a clearer identification of what is required (what one must believe) to end up in heaven. There is much talk of belief in God but not the necessity of a saving belief in Jesus. Clayton and Brian do talk about Jesus and Brian does come to the point where he has Ã¢ÂÂclearly embraced the one true and everlasting God.Ã¢ÂÂ (240)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
July 20, 2011