Wednesday, October 20

Love Me Back to Life by Missy Horsfall and Susan Stevens

Mallory Carlisle is at a crossroads. . . . Between financial struggles, an absentee husband, two active daughters, and an obsessively demanding family, she harbors a devastating secret. A secret that’s been buried for years in her subconscious. . . A secret that could potentially destroy her family. When the long-hidden secret surfaces, Mallory is forced to confront unbearable pain from her past. With no one to turn to, she is faced with the challenge of finding true hope and healing. Will Mallory ever discover the love and comfort of the only One who can set her free?

Title: Love Me Back to Life
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Pub Date: 02/01/2011
ISBN: 9781616263287

MY THOUGHTS

Love Me Back to Life is classified as fiction, but it is a raw and transparent look at broken lives and dysfunctional families. I don't remember being so impacted by a work of fiction as much as I was by this book.

Mallory is the main character, and she is struggling with unresolved issues from her childhood, her marriage is falling apart, she is obsessed with shopping and is headed for financial ruin, and her relationships with her siblings and her parents have never been healthy. The relationship with her own children is affected by her fits of anger and frustration. On the verge of a total breakdown, she finally realizes that she needs help.

One part of the book that I will never forget is the description of the onion effect. Each layer that is peeled away will bring us that much closer to healing. This is exactly what Mallory needed to do ... slowly peel back layer after layer of hurts and finally the healing began in her life.

A question from the study guide section says, "How in the world can admitting that my heart has been shattered and my life full of broken debris be something hopeful? When hurtful things happen, we have this natural tendency to do whatever it takes to tape the pieces back together and never, ever let anyone see our pain, use it against us, or bring us shame. We begin to build a wall of protection around our heart with a multitude of things such as aggression, passivity, distraction, isolation, or blockage of memories."

Love Me Back to Life tells the story of one woman on her journey to healing, but it also offers hope to those whose lives have been marked by pain, disappointment, and disillusionment. It realistically portrays what happens when a family in conflict does not talk about the issues, but rather sweeps things under the carpet.  When a bigger conflict comes along, the family members have no idea how to deal with things.

I highly recommend this book, and hope to find more books written by Missy Horsfall and Susan Stevens. I don't usually give a rating for books that I review, but this one is a definite five out of five!

Disclosure: I reviewed this electronic galley through Net Galley, courtesy of the publisher Barbour Publishing Inc. I was not compensated for my thoughts.

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