Monday, April 17, 2006
Deborah Raney's A Vow to Cherish~Reviewed
A Vow to Cherish
By Deborah Raney
Published by Steeple Hill, June 06 release
When his precious wife of thirty years received a devastating diagnosis, John Brighton's world fell apart. As his wife slipped from him day by day, his love was tested as never before, and he found himself confronted by a weakness he never knew he had. A confidante desperately needed in this dark time, a young widow named Julia Sinclair, seemed to understand his pain as no one else could. Torn between doing what he knew was right and what his heart told him could not be wrong, John soon discovered that the heart can't be trusted where true love is concerned.
Not often does an author have the chance to go back and rewrite her first book, but Deborah Raney had that opportunity. I read the original edition, saw the movie inspired by her book, and now I've read the new one. She has updated numerous things and added more depth, making an already good novel hauntingly beautiful.
John Brighton's wife has Alzheimer's, a cruel disease that afflicts entire families. I know. My mother died of Alzheimer's. I found Raney's book to be healing for me. With deep understanding and compassion, she exposes layer after layer of emotion a husband feels when his wife leaves him a bit at a time.
More cruel than sudden death or divorce, Alzheimer's robs the patient of their dignity as it robs the family of their loved one. After my mother died, daddy said he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders. That hurt and I couldn't understand how he could say it. Until I read A Vow to Cherish. As Raney reveals John's deep love for his wife, she also discloses how the disease wore him down. No one suffers Alzheimer's alone.
Beautifully written and filled with credible characters, Raney once again demonstrates why she's an award winning author. A Vow to Cherish stands on my all-time-favorites book shelf.