Kingsbury, K. (1999). Waiting for morning. Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc.
Paperback $14.99 Kindle $9.99, 384 pages
Author’s Website and Interviews:
Annotation: Hannah Ryan suffers a great loss at the hands of a drunk driver but her need for vengeance may destroy the ones she loves.
Summary: Hannah Ryan is a woman of faith but when she suffers a great loss at the hands of a drunk driver her faith is shaken and she turns to vengeance instead of God to help fill the void in her life. While she throws herself into the legal proceedings against the driver, Brian Wesley, she unknowingly pushes her teenage daughter Jenny to wayside, an act that soon has dire consequences. Jenny is filled with guilt and blame over the loss of those closest to her and she is determined to join her family in heaven any way she knows how. After researching how to commit suicide, she overdoses on prescription pills one evening while her mother is preparing for the upcoming trial. As the pills began to take over, Jenny is remorseful and prays to God asking him to let her live. When Hannah and her attorney, Matt Bronzan, return home and discover Jenny’s lifeless body on her bed, Hannah realizes what her desire for vengeance might cost her and she realizes that she must regain her faith and find forgiveness in her heart before she suffers another tragic loss.
Evaluation: I thought this was a very heart wrenching story of unspeakable loss and felt like Kingsbury did a great job of capturing the pain of loss from the point of view of both Hannah and her daughter Jenny. It was beautifully written and had very strong character and plot development. It examines the role faith plays in helping to heal and ultimately forgive those deemed undeserving of forgiveness. Although it was an extremely intricate and well told story, I did find parts of it to be rather “preachy” and there were quite a few references to Bible versus throughout. I find this typical of a lot of Christian Fiction but didn’t feel like it really added or detracted from the overall story and connection with the characters.
Genre: Christian Fiction
Appeal Factors: Heartwarming, inspirational, moving, and plot-driven
Read-alike Titles and Authors:
- Dear to Me, by Wanda E. Brunstetter
- The Englisher, by Beverly Lewis
- Kingdom Come, by Tim F. LaHaye
Awards: No awards for this title
- Ask questions which evoke an empathic response to one of the characters, Hannah, Jenny, or Brian Wesley. Do you think Hannah’s inability to mother Jenny due to her own grief contributed to Jenny’s isolation?
Book Discussion Questions:
- What does the title “Waiting for Morning” refer to? What does this mean for Hannah? for Jenny?
- Why did Jenny think suicide was the only option? As a devout Christian, how did Jenny justify taking her own life despite it going against her faith?
- Do you think Brian Wesley got what he deserved? Do you believe he truly is a changed man? Would you have been able to forgive him like Hannah did?
- Why was Tom Ryan’s second message to Sgt. Miller so important for Hannah? What role did it play in helping her heal and find forgiveness?
I have read a lot of Christian Fiction lately and have really enjoyed it. I have heard great things about the author Karen Kingsbury and really connected to the plot of the story. After reading the back of the book it peaked my interest as I wanted to know if Hannah Ryan, a woman of strong faith, would be able to regain her faith in God despite the horrific tragedies she suffered. It is testament of the power of the human spirit and dependence on one’s faith in times of great loss. I was in the mood for a good cry and this story seemed to be a perfect fit at the time.