Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Book Club-REVIEW of WORDS by Ginny L. Yttrup

This month's book club read was Words by Ginny L. Yttrup. Here is my review:

Sierra Dawn allows herself one day a year to think about the death of her baby 12 years before. Each year on the anniversary of Annie’s death Sierra goes to the grave, has lunch with her friend Ruby, and spends the rest of her day trying to forget. Sierra is consumed with guilt and anger. She knows that because she was addicted to drugs while pregnant with Annie that is the reason that Annie died. But she is angry at God because she feels that he could have prevented Annie from dying. Raised in a Christian home Sierra chose a different path to follow when she went to college. Ruby and Sierra’s parents think it is time for Sierra to relinquish the anger and guilt and get right with God. Sierra doesn’t  know if she ever can.  A trip to a secluded spot in the Redwoods changes her life forever.

Kaylee has been abandoned by her mother and left in the care of Jack her mother’s last boyfriend. The only things Kaylee has of her mother’s are her dictionary and Emily Post’s etiquette book. Kaylee hides them from Jack so that they will not be taken away. To escape the daily sexual abuse and neglect Kaylee reads the dictionary and memorizes words and their meanings. All of the words are bottled up inside of her as she has not been able to speak since her mother abandoned her to this evil man. Too afraid to run away because she worries that her mother has amnesia and someday will return to find her Kaylee suffers in silence and fear. One of her favorite spots is the hollowed out spot in a Redwood tree. She sits in a circle of pine cones telling herself that nothing can cross the pine cones to hurt her.

Sierra befriends Kaylee and realizes that neglect and maybe something more is going on in her life. She contacts Child services to find out what can be done. Once Kaylee is rescued she is placed in the care of Sierra. From that moment on healing for both Sierra and Kaylee begins.

WOW! This book was so good. It was heartbreaking to read about Kaylee’s abuse. I wanted to jump through the pages and administer justice myself! Ginny Yttrup was able to show that God can redeem us from our worst sins and give us peace and rest in Him through the trials of life.

As with Kaylee, victims of childhood sexual abuse often lose their “voice.” What types of circumstances silence you? How do you gain the courage to speak up when you’d rather remain quiet?
Some of my friends may not agree with me, but I am a shy person. So a lot of circumstances silence me. New situations silence me. Large groups of people silence me. Fear will silence me. One thing throughout life that has made me be more “vocal” has been my daughters. Whenever I have had to be their advocate whether at school or out in “life” those situations have caused me to gain courage and fight for my child. Unfortunately at the time Kaylee in Words was being abused she did not have an advocate with a voice to protect her.

Kaylee finds comfort in the words she reads in the dictionary. Who or what do you turn to for comfort?
First and foremost I turn to my Heavenly Father. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I could not turn to Him in my time of need. I also have a wonderful husband that supplies a shoulder to cry on when I need to. And my family has always been there for me when I need advice, love or comfort.

Sierra’s dad encourages her to look beyond a person’s action to see the person’s heart--to look for what’s causing that person to act as he or she does. This was to help Sierra better understand people. How might this advice change the way you look at others?
I’ve actually been thinking about this off and on lately. We don’t know what trouble a person is bearing in their life. So the checker at the grocery store, or the random person I run into I try to be nice and not take some irritation I may have out on them. I’m trying to think outside of my own little world and care for others beyond my own circle of friends.

Now it is your turn. Link to your review and then answer a couple of the questions found at the end of the book. If you don't have a blog or website feel free to join the discussion by commenting.


  1. I definitely agree with wanting to jump through the pages to administer justice. It was so frustrating at times. I also agree with being a little shy and not always speaking up. I guess we just have to find those things it's worth being vocal about.

  2. Thanks for sharing Kacie. I agree, I'm sure that we all have things that cause us to be more vocal.

  3. This was such a great book. I think it's such a powerful lesson in the hope and redemption we have in Jesus. And I too wanted to jump into the pages and take control, it's such a heartbreaking story. It also reminds me to be more sensitive to everyone I come into contact with because we don't know their story, and abuse can occur anywhere and to anyone and we need to keep our eyes open and listen to what God is telling us to do.

    Shan, from Faith Filled Reading

  4. Thanks for joining the discussion Shan. Words was a heartbreaking story. And like you said, a reminder to us to be sensitive to the people that we come in contact with each day. We may be the only light they see during the day.

  5. I like Colossians 3:13 in which Paul instructs us to bear with one another. Sometimes it is other Christians I have the least sympathy for -- yet as my brothers and sisters, I need to forgive and love above all else.

  6. I must admit that thought I downloaded this book when it was available, I balked at reading it. Sometimes books are just too real, too painful, and I can't do it. But I do believe there are important lessons to learn from these types of stories, as you have highlighted. Great review, Julie!

  7. Thanks so much for hosting this month. It has been great reading the thoughts of other bloggers. I go to a "live" book club once a month and this is really like that.

  8. This was such a powerful story! I was frankly surprised that I liked it. I usually prefer books with "happier" subject matter! I'm so glad I read this one.

  9. I was just thinking about this earlier about being silenced in social situations. I am a shy person too, so unlike my online personality. LOL. In social situations I feel like such a dud. I do feel like advocating for my kids gives me a voice. That's something I've had to do several times this year.

    Thanks so much for hosting Julie. Did anyone volunteer to host the next one yet?

  10. As far as I know nobody has volunteered for the next one. Anyone interested?