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Book Review: The Moment Between by Nicole Baart

Abigail Bennett is 29, an accountant, living in sunny humid southern Florida. Abigail is originally from a small town in Minnesota. After high school she couldn't wait to escape from the hostile atmosphere of home life. Abigail's younger sister is Hailey. Hailey five years younger, is a vibrant blonde beauty. Hailey has a dark side, an emotionally volatile polar personality. Their father copes by ignoring. Their mother copes by trying to fix. Abigail copes by trying to be the "good girl." Hailey just tries to make it another moment.

Positive Points:
  • A rarity for a fiction book in Christian publishing to tackle mental illness. I'm proud of Tyndale. 
  • Mental illness is shown not by using medical terms, but in an intimate portrayal of its affects on a family, both the person who is ill and the various family members, as well as other relationships.
  • Long-term results of not dealing with, or grieving for, a person with a mental illness. 
  • The importance of letting go, and making peace with something that cannot be controlled or fixed by another person. 
Negative Points:
  • I felt in the first three pages I knew all there was to know about Abigail. I would've rather had a smaller amount of information and let the story tell me the rest. 
  • The ending didn't leave me at peace about Abigail. Her choice of "dealing with" unforgiveness by using revenge made an impression on me that she needed long-term counseling. She's lived a life under the strain and anguish of her sister's illness. Other unresolved issues also had affected her. She is a character that is in need of help. The ending gave me a glimpse of a possible fresh start, yet much work will be needed.
  • Although I felt empathy for Abigail, her bravado did not make her a likable character for me.
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Published by Tyndale, May 2009, 384 pages.
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Paperback $9.49