Monday, March 16, 2009

Review: Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity is the true story of two young women, involved in an automobile accident, in which one died and the other lived. What makes this story remarkable is that the girls' identities were mistakenly switched, and the wrong family buried the wrong girl. The one thought to have died was really alive and being cared for by the family that had really lost their daughter.

Confused yet? You may remember this as a news story. The wonderful thing about the story is that both families are Christians and saw this as an opportunity to spread the Gospel message. While both families would have preferred to have kept their lives private, they understood that God was going to use them.

I feel it is apropos that I do a blog review of this book because the family of the living girl did blog updates for family and friends. What started as a way for family to check in on Laura Van Ryn, quickly became the world praying together for her. As blogs will do, their prayer needs got passed on and around. Blogging is such a wonderful community.

This was a story of hope. While I cried more times than I can count, as did BOTH families, they never doubted God's sovereignty. They prayed for God's strength in the midst of their trials and they believed that He was working something for His glory. As one family grieved their lost daughter, the other family worked to help heal theirs. And when the stories got crossed and a new family had to begin the grieving process, they had a family who had been right there, and understood exactly what they were facing, to help them walk through it. How amazing.

As you read you begin to see how they might have missed what we can all see in hindsight; the clues that this girl wasn't who they thought she was. I'm not going to give away anything, so you'll have to read the book to understand why no one knew they had the wrong girl.

For five weeks Whitney Cerak was in the hospital with severe brain damage. She started her hospital stay in a coma and slowly came out of it. For weeks she drifted in and out of consciousness. She was severely injured and in critical condition. As she began to wake up, she was not cognizant of her surroundings and therefore who was taking care of her. The issues that came up that might make someone think something was fishy, were explained away as part of her brain injury. Until the day when Whitney wrote her name as Whitney. As soon as the Van Ryn family realized there had been a mistake, they tried to correct it. They felt terrible and thought the other family might be furious at them. They were not. It was all part of God's plan.

Whitney said in the end of the book that she didn't know why God saved her. For a long time she felt like she had to do something big because people kept telling her that she was saved for a reason. But she still didn't know why he chose her. She goes on to say that she always believed in God but since the accident she fell in love with her Savior, Jesus Christ, and is totally sold out to him now. And that must be why. He must have saved her to have her. That is all she has to do. Serve Him. What bigger thing is there?

While the book did make me cry many times I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was hopeful and full of love. My favorite genre is autobiographies, so this is my kind of book anyway. This book especially was enjoyable. It was a quick, easy read; I finished it over the weekend. If you need a good cry, pick this book up. If you want some hope in a situation that seems futile, get this book. If you want to know there is still good in this world, read this book.


Beulah said...

I've been wanting to read this! I'm glad you liked it. The accident happened just outside of my town. Their college is just about half an hour from here. I couldn't imagine. You should try Stolen Innocense. It's super cheap at Wally world. It's a biography of sorts of a girl who left a sect of the FLDS church. Sad, but very good. Or if you don't want to buy it, I'll mail it to ya.

I finally got a new camera, and I'll let you know when I get the post up of the coupon system I use.

Diana said...

I love true life stories and auto/biographies too. I have a gift card from Christmas I haven't known how to spend, now I know! Thanks for sharing.

Bev said...

You left a comment on my blog and I couldn't find an email address so I will answer your question here! Yes that is digital scrapbook freebies that I post on my blog! Sorry again to answer in the comment section but I couldn't find an email

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Wow what a great review! I'll have to check out this book! I don't get to read much these days, but the Library has been good to me with book on CD or digital.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! The hotdogs I think were from some butcher shop my mom goes to. Crazy huh, I remember being young and getting the packaged kind!

I know not always the most healthy, I'm working on portions ... LOL. I'm sure you could but an organic or wheat twist onto it ;).

Kelly said...

First of all LOVE the layout :o) Very pretty. These families were on Oprah, so I've heard of them before, but the Christian part of them was not disscussed (not suprisingly) I really want to read the book now.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Thanks! I will definitely check it out!!

LOOK AT YOU all "springy" and with a new banner to boot! Soooo pretty hun! Everyone's blogs are getting so spruced up and now my seems boring and "blah!". LOL!

holly said...

oh, I love this new look...that orange was a tad bright...this look is pretty!! I will check out this book soon..thanks for the review.

Jen said...

Wow! This book looks really great! I am going to have pick it up so I can read it!! Maybe I'll get out and get tomorrow so I can read during my Spring Break!! Now that I finished your blog makeover!! :)

The Rambler said...

You've got me wanting to read this book. :)

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Michelle said...

HA! Glad my review was helpful. You know they are pretty fun to do. You ladies do a review so I can read them and get some new books. LOL.

Michelle said...

And thanks for the comments on my blog makeover. Go win you one.