Official Review: Difficult Blessings by Lori Heaton

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: Difficult Blessings by Lori Heaton

Post by Cecilia_L » 01 Mar 2019, 15:23

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Difficult Blessings" by Lori Heaton.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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"Most of us acknowledge the blessings we receive and are thankful for them. When blessings are borne of adversity, they can be a little harder to recognize." In Difficult Blessings, Lori Heaton shares the bittersweet life lessons she learned from her daughter's illness.

Written in the first-person narrative, Heaton chronicles her family's journey after four-year-old Maddie's diagnosis of pulmonary arterial hypertension. With heartfelt honesty, Heaton details the challenges of caring for a child with an incurable life-threatening disease while advocating for Maddie to live the purpose-filled life she desired. Each chapter reflects a "difficult blessing" learned. Topics include the importance of family, compassion, gratitude, resilience, embracing spirituality, God's tender mercies, sacrifice, happiness, and learning to live in the moment. The overall message is uplifting and inspirational not only regarding illness but also in facing adversity in general. The book concludes with a small photo gallery featuring Maddie, friends, and family members.

As a parent, I can't begin to imagine the experience of fighting daily for my child's life, which Heaton relates beautifully. She somehow manages to portray both the anguish and simple joys that were simultaneously present in her family's daily lives. After Maddie was subsequently diagnosed and conquered acute lymphocytic leukemia, she eventually needed two lung transplants. Heaton transparently describes struggling with anger toward God and how she learned to view tender mercies as answers to prayers. Also, as a nurse by profession, she simplifies the medical jargon associated with the many symptoms and procedures Maddie endured.

However, it was the glimpses Heaton provided of Maddie's indomitable spirit that particularly moved me. "Maddie could have confronted her trials with bitterness and resentment, but I never once heard her complain that life was unfair." Nicknamed "Miracle Maddie" by those who were involved in her medical care, Heaton described her daughter as having the spirit of a warrior and a sassy attitude. In and out of hospitals from the time she was 4-24, Maddie still exemplified joy--sporting a pink mohawk because "life is too short for boring hair" and spontaneously busting Michael Jackson moves the first time she was freed from her continuous IV.

The book was also exceptionally edited. While there were aspects of the book dealing with Maddie's illness that I found difficult to read, they didn't detract from its overall uplifting message. As I found no other improvements needed, I'm pleased to rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers who appreciate inspirational reads related to facing adversity. It will also be a helpful resource for the parents and caretakers of those with illnesses.

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Difficult Blessings
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Post by DALINTON » 04 Mar 2019, 06:34

The story is captivating, and looks interesting.

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Post by DogoMulla » 04 Mar 2019, 09:59

This is definitely a must-read. The Miracle Maddie story seems quite moving. Then there's the pink mohawk... Thank you for such an insightful review.

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Post by InStoree » 04 Mar 2019, 10:25

Heaton's optimism is admirable. Even if she's going through frightening circumstances, she succeeds to remain positive and to see good in the bad things that is happening. Impressive! Thank you for your great review!
Keep It Stupid Simple!

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Mar 2019, 10:28

DALINTON wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 06:34
The story is captivating, and looks interesting.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Mar 2019, 10:29

DogoMulla wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 09:59
This is definitely a must-read. The Miracle Maddie story seems quite moving. Then there's the pink mohawk... Thank you for such an insightful review.
You're welcome. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Mar 2019, 10:30

InStoree wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 10:25
Heaton's optimism is admirable. Even if she's going through frightening circumstances, she succeeds to remain positive and to see good in the bad things that is happening. Impressive! Thank you for your great review!
I agree. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by kandscreeley » 04 Mar 2019, 11:39

This reminds me of the Laura Story song called Blessings. It talks about how blessings can come through rain, through storms, through adversity. I probably need a reminder of this in my life right now. I should probably pick it up. Thanks for another great review.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Mar 2019, 12:42

kandscreeley wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 11:39
This reminds me of the Laura Story song called Blessings. It talks about how blessings can come through rain, through storms, through adversity. I probably need a reminder of this in my life right now. I should probably pick it up. Thanks for another great review.
I LOVE that song!
Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Rose Harebate » 04 Mar 2019, 14:35

This book is indeed inspiring, the topics I like the most are happiness, compassion and God's tender mercies. Awesome review as always.

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Post by sarahmarlowe » 04 Mar 2019, 17:08

There seems to be much to love about this book. Hooray for exceptional editing, first of all. The story sounds heartwrenching, but I love that each chapter outlines a blessing. What an inspiring read! Thanks for the great review.
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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Mar 2019, 17:21

Rose Harebate wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 14:35
This book is indeed inspiring, the topics I like the most are happiness, compassion and God's tender mercies. Awesome review as always.
Thank you for your kind comment, Rose.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 04 Mar 2019, 17:22

sarahmarlowe wrote:
04 Mar 2019, 17:08
There seems to be much to love about this book. Hooray for exceptional editing, first of all. The story sounds heartwrenching, but I love that each chapter outlines a blessing. What an inspiring read! Thanks for the great review.
Thank you, Sarah.

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Post by kdstrack » 04 Mar 2019, 22:57

I agree that many of these things would be hard to read. But, as you say, her story is inspiring. This novel really interests me. Thanks for your fascinating review.

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Post by PGreen » 05 Mar 2019, 08:24

I'm captivated to hear how parents cope with the loss of a child. I lost my own son unexpectedly at age 16. This sounds like a great book for me to read. Thanks for the review!

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