Book Chat

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Angel in the Rubble

Remember 9/11?

I’m sure all of us do. I was at a MOPS meeting with my 3 preschoolers and could hardly believe the news being reported to us by the group leader. For weeks afterwards, news continually reported stories. Things felt “off” for months.

But what if you actually lived through 9/11 — like, what if you were inside the World Trade Center when it happened? What if you first felt the building vibrate and thought about leaving, but didn’t, because you were told a time or two that it was safer to stay where you were? What if you finally joined your coworkers in a long trek down the stairs? What if you didn’t make it all the way down before the building collapsed? What if you were then buried in rubble for 27 hours before being rescued?

Those hours gave Genelle Guzman-McMillan a lot of time to contemplate her life and the choices she had made. She vowed to make some changes if she made it out alive. She was rescued — the last survivor who was — and she did make those changes: marrying her live-in boyfriend, being baptized, bringing her teenage daughter to the US from Trinidad. The experience changed Genelle forever, and she shares her story and her insights.

“The day on which my life nearly ended was full of dozens of little things, and I didn’t realize a single one of them at the time. Life will move fast, but it doesn’t mean you always have to keep pace. Take a look around once in a while. Life is a beautiful thing. You don’t want to miss it.”

My sister-in-law recommended Angel in the Rubble: The Miraculous Rescue of 9/11’s Last Survivor to me, and I’m glad she did.



Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II is our current after-dinner read-aloud. I had read it years ago and remember being very impressed with it. Darlene Deibler Rose shares her story of serving as a missionary in New Guinea during WWII. However, she isn’t there long before she and her husband are imprisoned separately by the Japanese. Many bad things happen to both (I could say more, but I don’t want to give a major spoiler), and several times it crossed my mind that Darlene’s experiences are similar to a woman’s version of Unbroken.

What I loved most about the book was Darlene’s faith. She had memorized many Bible verses (and chapters and even books) as a child, and these served her well during her imprisonment, when she was unable to have her Bible. Appropriate verses came to her throughout her suffering (the same thing happens to me often, and it is truly awesome — please understand though that in no way am I comparing myself to her and her trials!). God worked for her in miraculous ways, even going so far as to provide 92 bananas to her shortly after she had prayed for a single banana (I know, I know — you kind of have to read the book to understand the context).

Recommended. It’s guaranteed to encourage your faith to read about how God worked in Darlene’s situation.


Most of my reading this month has been the George Eliot classic Middlemarch . It’s 900 pages long, so it’s going to be a 2-monther. Along with that, I’m reading My Life in Middlemarch. Tune in next month for a recap on those …

Also reviewed this month:

The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Check out others’ book reviews at 5 Minutes for Books.

10 thoughts on “Book Chat

  1. That missionary story sounds wonderful, as does the other book.

    I’d love it if you’d link up to Read Aloud Thursday this week! It would be interesting to have the perspective of someone to who reads aloud to mostly teens!

  2. Evidence Not Seen is one of my all-time favorite books ever, reread multiple times. Angel in the Rubble sounds very interesting. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on Middlemarch – I keep thinking about looking into that one. It will be a while, though, as I just finished War and Peace and don’t want to take up another long one soon.

  3. Now I want to read Growing Up Social. Sounds intriguing and much needed for all of us.

    I read The Cross He Bore for Lent a few years back and loved it.

    Angel in the Rubble sounds like a powerful book. I read Evidence Not Seen a year or so ago and really was impressed by it too. I love that about the Bible verses–that happens to me too, but yes, so glad not under the same circumstances as Darlene!

    I finished Middlemarch this month so hang in there! ha. It took me about 4 months tho so you’re doing well. 🙂

  4. I was very blessed by reading the book about Darlene. I read it years ago and should reread it.

  5. Will have to read Evidence Not Seen. Looking forward to your next review and love that you read at the dinner table for your family.

  6. Evidence Not Seen has just grabbed my attention, it sounds inspiring, and a good one to read aloud to the family. Thanks for sharing otherwise I would not have known about this one.

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