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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Unsung Lullaby by Josi S. Kilpack

I would have to say that Josi S. Kilpack’s Unsung Lullaby is my favorite book by her to date. Josi has a no-holds-barred kind of way of addressing some pretty tough issues that face the modern Latter-day Saint. That sensitive but up front style is probably what makes this particular title my favorite. It’s a subject I’m very familiar with.

The back cover captures the whole sentiment of the situation in a nutshell, “But after all the doctors, all the money, and all the prayers, all she had to show for it was a heart full of unsung lullabies.” How I felt for Josi’s Maddie. I found myself totally engrossed in walking this very difficult path with her.

No, I have not had to face the heartbreak of infertility, but many of my friends have. I have watched and listened to their struggles, I’ve tried to cheer and support them as they chose their individual paths searching for answers and solutions. I held hands and wept with others for the tiny babies that were unable to survive. I’ve also mourned with friends when insensitive and hurtful remarks were directed at them from “friends” and leaders both inside and outside of the church. If nothing else, Unsung Lullaby really drives home the message of “judge not, that ye be not judged”. You do not, and can not, know the thoughts, feelings, and desires within someone else’s heart, no matter how well you think you know them. Christ has implored us to love and care for one another, not to show our ignorance by telling others how they should be living the gospel or why certain blessings are being denied them at this place and time.

That’s the most important message for me in Unsung Lullaby. No matter what our path is, no matter what our trials, we are to love and support each other and leave the rest to God. Unsung Lullaby is also very realistic. Infertility isn’t the only challenge facing Matt and Maddie, the main characters in the book. Rather, it is in addition to the problems of every day life and the realities of what “family” can mean in a variety of circumstances. Unsung Lullaby challenges the notion of what’s worth fighting for. I like the balance of realism and sensitivity to the spirit that is present on the pages of this book. I love the way Josi shows many sides of the same story so that no matter what your experiences with infertility and teen pregnancies may be, you can find yourself within the pages of Unsung Lullaby.

Josi does not assume, nor does she try to overtly press her readers into believing that there is only one answer and method available to those who know this kind of pain. She makes it clear that any process or goal of procreation is an act of faith in the Lord and a joint partnership with Him to find the best answers for your particular situation. It is not something that the woman, or family, need to feel alone in. Though, this is often the case. When you’re arms are empty, it is a very lonely place to be. Sadly, having a well meaning friend say, “I know how you feel” often only serves to make things worse. Even if our circumstances are very similar, we can not know another’s heart. That’s another reason I feel Unsung Lullaby is such a great literary blessing: it offers a safe haven, a world outside of your own to either understand a friend’s heartache better, or explore your own without judgment or bias.

In the coming months I’ll touch on a few other titles by Josi Kilpack, including her newest title, due out in September: Her Good Name. Josi is definitely an author worth reading and watching for great things.

Return to the Neighborhood


Kimberly said...

I can't wait to read this one. I've read Sheep's Clothing and Tempest Tossed. Josi has a knack for bringing me to tears, and I'm not the weepy sort, honestly!

Okay, there's that one long distance commerical that always does me in...

Alison Palmer said...

Oh, yes. I'm still miffed at her for making me cry on an airplane once!
Thanks for visiting, Kim