From Driftwood to Sapphire by Kathy M. Howard
(Ambassador International 2015)
From Driftwood to Sapphire was not what I expected. Did I expect to read a good book? Yes. It delivered that.
Did I expect to read a heartwarming story? Yes.
Did I expect to read an in-depth look into a young woman's soul? No, not really.
This book contained powerful messages. At times it was heartwarming, but it was also heart-rendering. Soft nuances within the book tore at my emotions. Little things made me truly think and examine myself.
In this story, the young woman, Samantha, was raised in an openly Christian environment where Christ is talked about without hesitation, where prayer is an involuntary reaction much like breathing, and where love and openness is prevalent. Every young person has a crucible that they must go through. It either tears them down, scars them, or makes them stronger. That crucible makes them look into their own souls and truly examine themselves. This book sure did that to me.
Faced with what Sam had to overcome, I honestly don't know if I could have done what Samantha did with such sophistication or forgiveness. At first I wasn't sure if this was even possible for someone to behave like this. Can a person truly forgive a horrible wrong done to them? Can a person truly see beyond the hurt of herself and accept the offending party with love? Kathy M. Howard shows these ups and downs of humanity in us all with precision and honesty.
The faith thread in the book could have come off as very heavy-handed and preachy, but Kathy M. Howard handles it with such a literary finesse that it enriches the book and the characters. This is a natural element in Sam's life and it is shown in a beautiful way.
I can definitely recommend this book to anyone and more importantly, it is a great book for any young teenager or young woman in today's society. Ms. Howard brings to life a true, honest to goodness, Christian woman who has her flaws and doubts and who overcomes two heart searing tragedies without forsaking her faith. Very, very well done!