Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Happy Room by Catherine Palmer

Another church library book....

Although a bit over-the-top emotional at times, Palmer has put together a powerful novel that examines family relationships, loyalty, and the affect of crises on our faith.  Three siblings are brought together around a hospital bed as the youngest sister, Debbie, is diagnosed with late stage anorexia, and is quickly dying.  Julia is confronted with her life-long confromity, and the resentment she feels about her unexpected pregnancy with twins after her two daughters are grown.  Peter needs to deal with his defensiveness, his anger about his childhood, and his broken marriage.  As the three siblings reminise about their missionary childhood in Africa, their lonely years in boarding school, their sense of not belonging anywhere, and their resentment against their parents, they begin the process of healing broken hearts, their faith is renewed and they gain new hope for the future, which will still hold it's own difficulties.  This book very realistically portrays the struggles of missionary families, and the way that pain/suffering and faith can live side by side. 

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