Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review: The Upside of Down by Rebecca Talley

"Hmmm," the doctor muttered.
Natalie wrinkled her forehead, almost afraid to ask, and said, "What does that mean?"
"You do know you're pregnant, right?"
Her breath caught in her throat. "Excuse me?"
"You're pregnant."
Her heartbeat thundered in her ears. "I'm what?"

Natalie Drake certainly has her hands full raising a large family, dealing with her difficult mother, and maintaining a relationship with her rebellious teenager. Just when things seem to be going smoothly, she finds out another unexpected surprise--she's going to have a baby. Faced with so many challenges, Natalie must learn to trust in a plan that isn't what she imagined and discover that every situation has an upside.


Rebecca Talley once again carefully crafts together a touching and heartfelt story that is sure to inspire you. With true-to-life characters and situations, The Upside of Down will reignite your faith and remind you of the importance of family.


I enjoyed this book on a number of levels. First, in seeing the daily interactions - and struggles - Natalie has with her children. Oh, I can so relate. I've had similar experiences in my own home where it just seems like every child is into their own brand of trouble and I've wanted to run screaming out the front door. Natalie handles it all better than I would, but she's not perfect, which makes her all the more likeable.


I appreciated watching Natalie's growth as she came to understand that even when we feel strong and capable, we still need to rely on the Lord for everything, and that it's through Him that we gain our real strength.


And I was very touched as Natalie learns of the final challenge she is to encounter in the book, that of learning that her new little child has Down syndrome. This is not the main focus of the book, but it certainly does pack an emotional punch as we read of the medical challenges they go through just in getting the baby diagnosed. The author's own little son has Down syndrome, and she speaks of the topic in a sensitive, knowledgeable way.


In the end, we come away from the story knowing more than we knew before, feeling our hearts touched, and feeling more strongly the power that God has to take our lives and make them something beautiful.


You can purchase The Upside of Down as a paperback or on Kindle. You can also swing by Rebecca Talley's blog and get to know her a little better.

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