Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review of "Scattered Links"

Scattered Links

In "Scattered Links" Michelle Weidenbenner creates a story of thirteen-year-old Oksana. Oksana lives in a tenement in Russia with her very pregnant alcoholic mother and an aunt who has wearied of supporting her sister’s children. When an American missionary offers her regular food and help, Oksana is suspicious. Hunger and a need to care for her mother drives her.

As she helps out at the mission and sees the kind of people these Christians are she begins to believe that the adoption they offer for her soon-to-be-born sibling would be a good thing. Far better than the state-run orphanage where the room full of babies are too quiet. When her mother goes into labor while the aunt is gone, Oksana must overcome her fears, prejudices, and dreams to make some very adult decisions.

Weidenbenner has done something very few authors have managed – to bring tears to my eyes. The situations Oksana is forced to deal with are very real and thought provoking. They allow a peek at life that is foreign to many American youth and far too familiar to others. Oksana’s courage and tenacity dictate her choices for survival. Trying to fit into the lifestyle of an ordinary American family after a childhood of fendimg for herself isn’t easy. Not for her and certainly not for the adoptive parents who cannot understand her.

I was glad I read this book. While it is considered Young Adult Fiction, I recommend it to adults and youth alike. It stirred a desire to read Weidenbenner’s other works. Michelle Weidenbenner was a 2011 Genesis semi-finalist for "Love is Just a Word" which tells the story of a Russian teenage girl with an attachment disorder. You can follow her Facebook page

          Mary Allen

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