Friday, January 22, 2010

The Silent Gift: A Book Review



About The Book:

From the creator/director of the Love Comes Softly film series--
a story both bittersweet and heartwarming of a mother and her son•and of his unusual gift


The decade of the 'thirties was a time of enormous uncertainty--for the world, for America, and in particular for one lonely, struggling mother and her disabled son. Their story is one of unyielding love and incredible sacrifices in the face of circumstances beyond belief. 

But then The Gift appears•where has it come from, and why? How can a young boy who cannot communicate provide comfort and direction to seekers who learn of the special ability? Whatever the source, its presence brings a single shaft of light and hope to Mary and her beloved son, Jack. Will it be enough?

A novel filled with passion, with yearning•and with hope

About The Author:
Michael Landon, Jr., son of the Little House on the Prairie star, has been building his own reputation in the film world and beyond with his highly successful Love Comes Softly movies. His Christian worldview illuminates all his work, including this, his first novel. He and his wife make a home for their three children in Austin, TX.
Q & A with Michael Landon Jr. & Cindy Kelley

1.Why did you write The Silent Gift?

We wanted to tell a story about a mother’s unconditional love for her handicapped child
and to illustrate that one’s worth isn’t dependent upon what society deems valuable, but
that our intrinsic worth comes from our Creator. It was also intriguing to delve into the
spiritual gift of prophecy and its own unique implications.


2.How did you develop the initial story idea/plot line for The Silent Gift?


The inspiration for the story came when Michael first attended Austin Ridge, the church he
now belongs to, and heard about the pastor’s ten year old son that had never spoken a
word. He began to think about what life would look like from a parent’s point of view in
that unique circumstance.


3. Did you encounter any interesting challenges while writing/researching for this novel?


One of the challenges was the multiple worlds that the characters ‘travel’ through—making
sure the timeline and historical accuracy are seamless. Another challenge was trying to find
clarity between actual prophecy and what we typically call ‘psychic’ today.


4.What is the take-away message you want readers to receive after reading your book?


We don’t like to ‘forecast’ the message, preferring instead that every reader take their own
journey through the book—taking away the things that personally affect them.


5.What are the setting and time period of The Silent Gift? Are any real streets, towns,
cities, physical structures, or landmarks used?


The book opens in Rural Minnesota in 1930. Then we jump ahead eight years to follow our
characters through many diverse worlds including the wealthy, the not so wealthy, the
outcasts, and everyone in between.We did use several real cities—Chicago and
Minneapolis/St. Paul are two examples.We used mainly fictitious places, but incorporated
a few real locations such as The Babcock Observatory. Some cultural icons of the period
are also woven into the story.


You can read an excerpt of The Silent Gift here.

My Review:

I have long been a fan of Michael Landon, particularly the Little House on the Prairie series, and was very excited to see that his son had written a book. I am also a huge fan of the Love Comes Softly movies (and books by Janette Oke), of which Michael Landon Jr. worked on.  So when the opportunity presented itself to read The Silent Gift, I jumped at the chance.

The Silent Gift was very easy to read, as well it was a quick read (I read it in three days). The plot and characters flowed nicely, and as I read it, I could very easily visualize this book as a movie. That said, it is not a lighthearted read. You will be taken to a place many of harshness at times, but to get the most out of this book, the reader needs to go there.

I believe that the author has taken a lot of time to do his research in order to make the timelines, characters and issues believable. There are so many issues discussed in this book, including despair, abuse, and fear of the unknown, however the most important point in this book is the neverending love a mother has for her child.

As this was Landon's first book, I look forward to reading from him again in the future!

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase The Silent Gift online directly from Bethany House and from your local Christian Bookseller. It is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

***Thank you to Jim Hart at Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review***

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful book to read! I'll have to add it to my Goodreads list. Thanks for the review!

    ReplyDelete