Author: Ginny L. Yttrup
Publisher: BH Publishing Group
About the Book: Kaylee has been left with Jack, an abusive boyfriend of her mothers. She is only 10 years old and believes Jack when he tells her she can't leave as her mother will be back to get her sometime. She is repeatedly molested by him and has stopped speaking because of the trauma. Instead, she collects words in her head - words that she finds in a dictionary that she and her mother used to look at together.
Jack leaves Kaylee alone for long portions of the day, and she is pretty good at remembering his work schedule - so even though she wanders in the nearby redwood forest she is always home before he is. She has found a safe haven in a burnt out redwood tree. In this tree, inside a circle of pinecones, no one can hurt her. It is here that she first sees Sierra.
Sierra is an artist who has lived alone since the death of her baby daughter 12 years before. She had been a drug addict and her newborn baby, Annie, died because of it. She had been raised in a Christian home, but had wandered far off that path. She was still close to her parents, but refused to let go of the guilt and remorse of her daughter's death. It is on the anniversary of Annie's death that she thinks she sees the ghost of a little girl peering out of a redwood tree, when it is in fact Kaylee.
Although she leaves that day without investigating further, with the encouragement of her best friend Ruby, she ventures back to the spot to see if it was really a little girl. She can't help but wonder what a little girl would be doing out in the woods by herself. Kaylee feels pulled back to the spot to see if Sierra will return as she had been crying and Kaylee is curious as to why. What neither one of them realize is that they are both being nudged by God towards each other.
My thoughts: I really liked this book alot. Being a mom, I totally understood Sierra's need to find Kaylee and see why she was in the forest alone - and once she did, to follow up and try to learn more. You could feel Kaylee's struggle to speak, but also realize her reluctance is because she may have to answer some tough questions about things she doesn't want to talk about. It contains a great lesson in forgiveness and how God loves us, for us, regardless of what we might have done, and the importance of allowing God to do it His way, even when we don't think it is the right way.
Go here to read the first chapter of Words.
~Special thanks to Julie Gwinn, Trade Book Marketing, B&H Publishing Group for sending me a review copy~
You can connect with Ginny at her website http://www.ginnyyttrup.com/.
Publisher/Publication Date: BH Publishing, Feb 1, 2011