Dianna Donnely approached me about reviewing her book, The Gray Season. I expected a novel, but what I found was profound ministry between its covers as the story, as it played out, seemed more and more like my own. The female lead, Lily, begins by telling of her father’s cancer diagnosis and subsequent death. It had a major impact on me. You see, my own father passed away in January of this year after a few years of chronic terminal illness. I could relate to the story of hospitals, ups & downs of a loved one’s health, and families coming together to help. Helping her mother get through the next few years was a large part of the story, but Lily and husband Ryan learned a lot and grew and healed as well. Lily learned to rely on doors opened by God to lead her to the next step in her journey, and to walk away from the closed doors. If it wasn’t God’s way, she didn’t want it. Pertinent passages from the Bible are scattered throughout and it brings true comfort to read them.
Through following God’s leading, Lily met a very special friend who helped her make a critical life decision and discover what she had been searching for her entire life. And God made it clear, too, when one phase was over and it was time to move on to meet new needs. Just enough is hinted about the next phase of life to create anticipation and a desire to read the next installment! In 2014 the next book in the series will be published–the first in a series of rainbow-color named volumes.
I would recommend The Gray Season to anyone struggling with the death of a family member or loved one. Personally, it helped me validate my own feelings about the death of my father. If you have a friend in this situation, it will also help you know how to minister to them.
Dianna is a skillful author, painting descriptive word pictures to complement the story. The story flows well and held my interest to the end, or rather, beyond the end. Just as I was wondering what was next, the book was finished! So I will have to read the next one to see what happens. Dianna Donnely’s blog can be found at http://diannadonnely.com/ for news about her upcoming releases, as well as recipes and thoughts.