Thursday, May 2, 2013

Past Darkness by Laurel Woiwode

Past Darkness is the story of much of the life a girl named Gabrielle. She grew up with her parents, both musicians, and she herself could sing. And then.... tragedy changed her life. Her parents have been killed, something that I could feel coming with some dread for a few chapters prior. 

With her closest family gone, Gabe winds up in North Dakota. It is quite a shock to her being a Chicago city girl and she is doing her best to avoid all her feelings, God and everyone around her as much as possible. Her precious Aunt and Uncle take her to raise as their own child, and one of the first things she does is close music out of her life completely.  It causes too much pain, and she is so angry with God. The other thing she does is fall in love with horses. :) (I do love the horses!) 

Gabe is alone, a social out-cast, mostly by choice, and mostly from her not dealing with her issues. She decides to be a veterinarian like her Aunt Bea, but even in that keeps her distance from her family as much as she can. That all changes one day during her college years. She has an encounter with music, and with God that breaks down those walls, at least for a little while. Now Gabe must choose what to do. To heal and move forward, to get some closure on the past, or to push it all back inside and go back to what she was. 

This was a nice short read, I loved the landscapes, the ranches, and the horses. I liked the power that music has in God's hands being show. I feel that the ending was good, and sweet, but it felt very abrupt to me. Rather like I had just been put down and walked off on with out the rest of the closure that I needed from reading the story. Maybe that is because the rest of the story hasn't yet been told, but I would have skipped this book had I know the ending was that abrupt. Something else that bothered me about this book is that Gabe had no counselling. Her Aunt and Uncle only knew to pray and let her be, so she suffered for years because she didn't have a pastor, friends, or councilors, even a secular one to help her deal with severe trauma and grief. 


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Past Darkness
Crossway (April 30, 2013)
Laurel Woiwode


Laurel Woiwode graduated with honors from Jamestown College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in both English and History. She works with ESL students, writes movie reviews at, works on writing and editing projects, and is always ready for outdoor adventures. Laurel grew up in rural North Dakota, has had an avid interest in animals, nature, and literature since childhood, and she is the author of Past Darkness.


Gabrielle Larson is an average, 15 year old girl living in Chicago when tragedy strikes. In the aftermath, she is forced to relocate to rural North Dakota and henceforth spends the next chapter of her life learning to cope with trials involving everything from family to faith. Laurel Woiwode, daughter of critically acclaimed novelist Larry Woiwode, offers here a moving story that will be appreciated by female and male readers alike. Past Darkness is not preachy or heavy-handed, but rather a touching story about the importance of family, the power of music, and the ever-present mercy of God.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Past Darkness, go HERE,

The book link is: 

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