About the Book:
There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions: Why? and Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question: Who? Who are you, God? Who are you to me?
Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and crushing self doubt. And then, the unthinkable. Cancer is now threatening not only her own life but also the lives of both her parents.
Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites you to discover, as she did, that even in life’s hardest places, you are not alone in your fear, you are not foolish to hope, and you are nevee forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.
Ever since I’ve followed Ava’s journey, I’ve been keenly interested in cancer and how it affects people, both the victim AND the victim’s loved ones. This book contains both. In this book, Lynne Hartke shares the story of her life: starting from her own diagnosis and fight with cancer, and also flashing back to her in-law’s cancer battles and also describing her own parents’ fight with cancer.
I really liked the writing style of the book, almost like a stream of consciousness narration style. There are stories from the past entwined with stories of the future that all flow together, which makes it less work, I suppose you could say, than reading other nonfiction books. She was also able to relate incidents from the past, her own and from the Bible, to what was currently happening, which made it all bond together.
Another thing about this book was that it didn’t feel like the author had all the answers. Instead, she was struggling, with her circumstances, with her faith, and God. It also tied to the stream of consciousness thing, where the chapters are a conglomeration of thoughts, but all supported by one idea.
There wasn’t a lot of stuff about the actual treatment of the cancer (which, frankly, is what I like), but I understand that, because not many people would like to hear about that. Instead, the book was more faith based, guiding Hartke and the reader towards Jesus as the final answer, all along.
Being an avid hiker living in the desert, there were many hiking/water/paths/exercise allusions in the book (including the title Under a Desert Sky), which all together tied the book together really well. They were also very fitting: the journey of trusting Jesus, and life in general, is much like a hike in the canyon–excruciating and dangerous, but worth it in the end.
Overall, it was a really good book that I enjoyed.
Thanks to Revell for sending me a free print copy of this book for my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.