Cocoon by Emily Sue Harvey
Had I not already committed to reading Emily Sue Harvey’s novel, Cocoon, before laying eyes on the book itself, the cover’s beauty and the expectancy it carried would have pulled me into the story on it’s own. The book’s message of hope pulled me to finish it even when the going got tough in the middle due to the challenging aspect of the subject material itself.
Widowed Seana Howard meets and falls in love with Barth McGrath, a newcomer to the town of Paradise Springs and a man with a mysterious past. Shortly after their marriage Seana falls victim to a debilitating illness that changes her completely from the woman Barth fell in love with to a barely functioning image of her former self. Several sub-plots wind around the story’s main focus of Barth’s determination to love and care for her despite her increasingly demanding needs and her family’s initial reluctance to accept him.
I found it a tough read, to be honest, only because I felt increasingly challenged as the story progressed to consider how I would react in a similarly difficult situation. Continually frustrated and dismayed at my own desire to quit when the main character in the story refused to do so, I was surprised at the strength of the emotions that were prompted from a book I selected for the purpose of pleasure reading.
I found the end to be satisfying, however, echoing my belief in the faithfulness of God and His love and willingness to help us through the challenging times we experience. This would be an especially encouraging read for those involved in long battles, who are holding on to hope for a positive outcome in a currently bleak situation. Emily Sue Harvey successfully delivers on the promise of the cover illustration with the message that eventually emerges from the struggle of the pages inside, one that stays with the reader long after the book is put aside.
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