Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Touched - A Review

Book 1: Encounter Series
Paula Wiseman

A Review

Paula Wiseman has the habit of writing books that focus on people's lives - not mystery, murder, robbery, etc. - but lives that people have lived and the “stuff” that people bring with them as they live their lives. She has done a great job of doing that again in “Touched”.

Donna Sue Grant, the first person author, begins by writing,

Secrets come in all sorts and sizes. Sometimes, they are as sweet as an engagement ring in a nervous boy’s pocket. Other times ... they threaten to shatter your very self. With those kinds of secrets, it’s difficult to judge if keeping it or telling it is more damaging.
And as Donna Sue Grant hid her secret, she knew it was true. Her secret, like most abuse, was burden that was difficult to let go. “Touched” is the story of how she did that.  It is a story than many travel as they move out of abusive relationships, regardless of the abusers relationship to the abused. It is not an easy journey, but one that can lead to wholeness. Paula Wiseman has done a good job of describing the journey of fictionalized character.

If I were to stop this review at this point, it would be a five star review. But the author has endorsed a glaring error in the course of writing this book. Her husband, a counselor in training, serve as Donna Sue Grant’s primary therapist. If this had been a pastor, he might not know of the ethical issues involved in treating his own family. But Phil was being trained in a state university with an exemplary reputation and was being supervised in his current practice by a licensed therapist. He should have learned, as I and every trained therapist learns, that there are ethical issues surrounding the treatment of members of one’s own family. It is the same ethical issues that require that a doctor relinquish treatment of their family to other physicians - who are able to be professionally objective as they treat patients, or in this case clients. For this reader, this flaw raises large red flags that are not addressed in any way within the confines of the book.

The story has a lot to teach the lay person about the history and effect of abuse on its victim. We get a picture of the burden it puts on the abused, his or her need to protect themself and their abuser. But it also illustrates the freedom that can come once the abuse is revealed. Justice is not always possible, but as scripture says, “The truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32).  The book also presents a clear picture how faith can influence the lives of individuals and families. The author has not stepped back from addressing how faith will change the lives of those who will listen to God’s voice.

This family has more to teach us - the next book has been written, though not yet published. I will be looking forward to reading it in the near future.

This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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