4 out of 4 stars
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Esther Crowder's Baby Boy by Cathy Hickerson is a fictional story about the pain, denial, and grief a family goes through. Eight months pregnant, twenty-three-year-old Esther is about to deliver her fifth child. Esther’s pregnancy has been difficult, and she has been suffering from severe headaches, so her mother, Clarice, goes to her house to help her with her four other children. She tells her mother that she believes she will die when the baby is born, how she wants to be dressed for the funeral, and that she wants her eldest sister, Mary Margaret, to raise her newborn baby. Clarice denies that her youngest daughter is going to die. Twelve days after Kenny Ray’s birth, Esther dies. Esther’s husband, Raylin, had always been verbally abusive to Esther and never able to provide food to his family. He supports his wife’s wish to have her sister raise their son. Mary Margaret and her husband, George, can not afford to legally adopt Kenny Ray and are worried that Raylin will change his mind. Esther’s family is all worried that Raylin will not allow them to see the other children now that she is dead. Will Raylin change his mind? Will Esther’s family ever see the four older children again?
The author takes you into the world of faith in God that can help you make correct decisions, overcome grief, pain, and sadness, forgiveness, denial, and live with decisions, not of your own making. She tells you how life events are like storms of nature. Illnesses, relationships, and financial hardships are storms that you have to learn to live with. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child and not knowing what the future for your grandchildren is going to be like. When a loved one dies, many experience anger towards survivors and in God. Why their loved one? Sleep is difficult because of memories of the loved one. From personal experience, I know that even once you sleep, the dreams about your loved ones can be very vivid.
I like how the author made her points about having faith in God without pushing religion. The points were made as facts that allow the reader to make their own assumption as to their validity in their own lives. The turmoil that Esther’s family goes through is very realistic and will make you cry. There was nothing I disliked about this book. It was well-written and had no profanity or sexual content. The story flowed smoothly, and the book was hard to put down.
I recommend this short book to any Christian who has suffered the loss of a loved one. This book will help you with the anger you feel towards God while trying to make sense of your loss. Atheists may not like the book due to the religious aspect.
I only found two small errors in the book, so I believe it has been edited by a professional. I gladly give this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Esther Crowder's Baby Boy
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