This book takes place in the late 1930's, when America is still battling the Great Depression. The main characters are Mary and her deaf-mute son, Jack. Jack has a special gift (I won't tell you what it is so not to ruin the book) that would be considered a divine gift and makes Jack's messages somewhat of a prophecy. I will tell you that when this first came up in the book, I about put it down--I actually returned it to the library. To me, it was coming too close to crystal balls, tarot cards and fortune telling with the words "God's Gift" slapped on it. I didn't like that one bit--so back to the library it went. But two days later I went back and rechecked it out. Something about it was still intriguing to me. The was a very human story being told and I wanted to find out what happened to Mary and Jack.
I'm glad I did. I was a touching story of a mother's commitment to her son during a very troubling time in her life and in our country. It was also a story of a mother's struggle with her trust in God. Her guilt in using His gift to secure a future for her son which ultimately takes him away from her and her relentless search to get him back into her arms and life. As probably most parents who go through what she endures she loses trust in God, is angry at God, challenges God. But in the end, defeated, she gives up and just when she is freed from the blindness of her battle with God, He divinely answers her desperate call for help.
The book has a beautiful cast of periphery characters who add charm and anger to the book. You despise some of the characters, are reserved about the intentions of others and grow to love Mary, Jack and those that truly have their best interest at heart.
Many people I think will relate to the struggle that Mary has with God, that when they are at their lowest or when life throws a curve ball their way they wonder where God is and why they trusted Him in the first place, yet, they know, somewhere in the depths of their heart that He will not leave them.
The Silent Gift is a beautiful story about a mother's devotion, trust in God, and human nature--both good and bad. Sure, there were parts that I thought "that would never happen" but it's a book--that's how authors keep us engaged. I am so glad that I went back and rechecked out the book and finished it. It is very touching and I would definitely recommend it.
While this book certainly isn't one of my "favorites of all time," I most definitely give it a FIVE out of FIVE stars.