To Know You: A Review

Book Blurb: Julia Whittaker’s rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker’s son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds—and his liver—crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a “living liver” transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon’s time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.

But can Julia ask a young woman—someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with—to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she’s never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?
And what if she discovers in her own daughters’ lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she’s probably embarking on a fool’s errand—searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.
My take: One of the most engaging books I’ve read this year.  The high stakes pulled me into the story right away. Every mother would move heaven and earth to find the one person or people that would save her child’s life, right? The protagonist in To Know You was no exception. However, she has to face her tumultuous past and ask both of the daughters she gave up for adoption to consider donating part of their liver to save the half-brother they didn’t know existed. Her husband’s faith is tested as he is forced to confront his wife’s skeletons in the form of not one but two fathers of the daughters she gave up for adoption. In my opinion, I thought he was a little bit too perfect as a spouse in this situation. But maybe that was the authors’ intent: write a character who would demonstrate God’s grace and love through his love and the grace he offered his wife in an effort to pursue healing in their marriage and family relationships.
Although adoption and secret pregnancies have been covered before in the inspirational fiction genre, I thought this particular book offered a compelling twist on this story line because of the rich characterization. A successful couple professing the major tenets of the Christian faith, yet forced to confront the mistakes of the past and subsequently forge relationships with two adults who could give them exactly what they need but have every right to refuse to help. What makes the book even more complex and enjoyable is that these women are wrestling with significant issues in their own lives. These complex, believable characters and intriguing plot kept me turning pages late into the night. A phenomenal debut fiction release. Nicely done.
In celebration of the release of To Know You, Shannon Ethridge is giving away a $100 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard designs. In addition, she’s also offering a personal coaching session. To enter, click here to go to Shannon’s Facebook page. Hurry, the contest is wrapping up and the winner will be announced at the Facebook party and author chat on Tuesday, 11/19. For more details about how you can connect with Shannon, please click here.
Please note that I was asked to submit a review in exchange for receiving a complimentary digital edition of this book. Thank you so much to the wonderful team at Litfuse Publicity Group for including me in the blog tour of To Know You. 

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