Friday, February 15, 2013

Story of a Girl

Story of a Girl
By Sara Zarr

Deanna Lambert got caught by her Dad in the middle of an act when she was only thirteen years old. Although the boy was seventeen, Deanna's father did not bring charges against him. Instead, the boy, Tommy, although best friends with Deanna's older brother, made Deanna into the local slut of the school. Three years later, Deanna has cleaned up her act (quit smoking, doing drugs, being with boys at all) but she has been branded for life. The worst is the way her father looks at her -- or better doesn't look at her. There is nothing she can do to receive his forgiveness. Both her school life and her home life are pure hell.

I wasn't sure I really wanted to read this book. It sat for a long time on my bookshelf. However, I am glad I did. This is a powerful book about redemption, forgiveness and moving beyond our mistakes. It is also a book about wanting to be loved and to belong. Deanna is not a bad kid. She really just wants to be loved and accepted. The only one who seems to get this is her brother. Deanna proves that forgiveness and moving on are possible, even in the face of social judgment and ostracism.

I would not recommend this book for younger teen readers but it is a powerful lesson about being forgiven and forgiving. That is what Story of a Girl has to do with my faith. How forgiving are we as Christians? My husband says that the people in his AA group are often far more understanding and forgiving than people in the church. I think that is because the AA folks know they have been there, done that. Why don't we see ourselves in the church as sinners? We are quick to point the finger but reluctant to hold someone in love. Can we see beyond someone's mistakes and allow them new life in Christ -- even for the umpteenth time?

I recommend Story of a Girl.

Happy reading - and forgiving!


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