4 out of 4 stars
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Does it feel like your life has a scarcity of blessings? Does it feel like you have been dealt with bad cards all your life? If you immediately said yes without hesitation, reading Beyond the Hayfields may benefit you. This book is a memoir about blessings and forgiveness focused on the life of the author, his family, his church, and his faith. The purpose of this book is to make its readers realize that they have more blessings than they think they have.
In 2014, author Vincent De Young suffered the loss of a major part of his lung. This painful event made him reflect on his life, opening his eyes to the abundant blessings he was given throughout his life that he had taken for granted or failed to recognize as such. In this book, De Young revisits his life from his childhood to the present. In doing so, he hopes those who read his story identify with his experiences and become inspired to seek the hidden blessings in their own lives.
Looking back on his life, De Young recounts stories about his parents, siblings, the many friends he met in his life, the education he received, his time in the air force, his wife, his children, and his church. One of the biggest and earliest blessings in the author’s life was his recovery from a severe case of pneumonia when he was only nine months old. Because he recounted his life and experiences in great detail, I could envision the scenes as I read them. I could see the young boy as he played around the Hayfields with his friends, climbed the water tank while his twin brother watched, and woke up early for his job as a paperboy. It also helped that De Young included pictures of people and places that I could see as I read about them. I recommend others to read the book to know about his journey in life as he grew older.
One thing to like about this book is that while the author’s life is rooted in Christianity, this book is suitable for Christians and non-Christians alike. This is because the main theme of the book revolves around the acknowledgment of blessings in life, which I believe anyone can do regardless of their religious beliefs. I enjoyed reading the author’s life story. It is easily one of the most informative and descriptive books that I have read. It was fascinating to read about how life was like during a time of war and how different social norms were back then compared to today.
There were a few things I did not like about the book. There were parts where I felt like I was reading a textbook, so I had to read those parts more than twice to understand them fully. I also had some difficulties with the author’s writing style because he of his tendency to write lengthy sentences, which affected my reading experience. The readers would better digest these long sentences if they were broken up. Other than what I have stated, there is nothing more that I disliked about the book.
I found that the book was well-edited as I only caught one error. In conclusion, I am glad to award Beyond the Hayfields a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. This book has no instances of profanity. As mentioned earlier, this book is suitable for both Christians and non-Christians. I recommend it to those who feel the need to be reminded of their blessings, even in the mundane. I do not recommend this book to readers who dislike lengthy books and books that mostly recount past events of ordinary life.
Beyond the Hayfields
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