11 December 2009

You See, I Read this Book... (Part 3)

It's Feature Friday!

Okay, hopefully you all are excited about the great unveiling today. I am--because I hope that a lot of people buy this book and support this author. She's amazing!

Here it is!

My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay.

A few weeks ago, Nicole Baart blogged about this book, the Australian author, and even had a giveaway. As soon as I learned that I didn't win the contest, I bought the book. I started reading on a Sunday afternoon and finished it on a Monday night. I couldn't stop reading, and it only took me that long because I made myself stop reading it just to digest everything. To know more about this book and the author, please check out Nicole's post on the link above. She said it so well I'm not going to say it again.

What I want to talk about is my reaction to this book. You see, it's about a teen who goes on a two month missions trip (two weeks of training and then six weeks in the field) to Indonesia. While she's there, violence breaks loose. The team has to run into the jungle for safety and travel many, many miles in search of a way to get back to the States.

So, you can see why I liked this book. It's about a missionary. But it was more than that.

Definitely, I knew the world Lisa described. I've never been to Indonesia, but I have lived in the jungle and I've spent a lot of time overseas in nations like Indonesia. I understand the missions trip mentality, as I have been on many of these trips and led four of them. I did not go with the same organization, so our experiences differ there. But there is too much similarity to just ignore it.

This book is different because it's not an easy read. I don't mean the writing is unaccessible; in fact, it's the opposite. McKay has incredible talent. The story is not easy. It's not a "beach read", I guess. That's why the book moved me so much. My time overseas hasn't been all happiness, bunnies, and fluffy clouds. There have been incredible times when I've seen miraculous healing or someone come to Christ. There have also been times when I've experienced tremendous loss, violence, and the instinct to flee and find safety. I understand culture shock from both directions and the difficulty of re-entry all too well--especially after a difficult trip. Though my story and Cori's (the main character) are very different, reading hers helped bring healing to me.

Sometimes all you need is someone to say, "It's okay. I understand. I lived it too. I know where you are." Cori did this for me. I will read this book over and over as long as I live. I will pass it on to everyone I think it will help--especially those in ministry (whether overseas or not). The subject matter in this book is not easy. The characters' traumatic story could overwhelm you. But for me, it was what I needed.

Thank you, Lisa McKay! I'm already fascinated by your life, but your book has profoundly impacted me. Thank you for writing it. I put your book on my shelf next to the books by my "favoritest of favorite" authors. And thank you, Nicole Baart, for featuring her on your blog.

Have a great weekend! See y'all Monday!


  1. Oh cool. I am so going to get the book. Thanks for these posts Kristen :)

  2. Sounds amazing! I'm going to check out the original post. Thanks Kristen!

  3. I can totally understand why the book would appeal to you as a missionary. Do you think the violence and subject matter will scare other non-missionary-types from considering missions? Just curious.

    Have a great weekend, Kristen!

  4. That is the miracle of books. It's so moving how this book touched you. It is sort of a kinship, isn't it?

  5. Wow. I need to read that book! I'm always looking for good ones. You should check out the past I have planned for Monday. It's titled "Life Changing Fiction" Sounds like this is one of those!

  6. This sounds great! Thanks for sharing!!!

  7. Sounds interesting. Great review! :O)

  8. Kristen...this was a fabulous week...and at least to this old lady blogger, it worked. Checked this blog first!

    Love chatting via technology!

  9. I cannot wait to get this book, Kristen. It sounds exactly like the kind of adventure I would like to read. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I've read about this book before. You did a great job enticing me to want to buy it!
    ~ Wendy

  11. Kristen, I got lost in cyberspace for about 15 minutes, because I kept following link after link to learn about both Nicole Baart and Lisa McKay. Thanks for that! (Truly.) ;)

    The book sounds phenomenal. The storyline might not touch each reader the same, but it sounds like the captivating writing would.

    Happy Friday!

  12. Sounds like an incredible read. I'll definitely have to pick that up. I love it when a book speaks to me personally. I have some treasured ones that I read over and over again.

  13. Kristen, thank you for sharing this book with us. I wrote down the name and title for a potential Christmas present. I know someone who this would be perfect for.

  14. WOW! I love the title and I think the book sounds so powerful. Just based on your review alone I want to read this. Normally I don't read too serious stuff because it depresses me, but I think that this book sounds like more than something heartbreaking. Thanks for the review!

  15. Hey, Tabitha! That's so great! I think you'd love her--and she's a fellow Aussie!

    You're welcome, Tamika!

    I don't think so, Jody. I guess it depends on the reader. It's very realistic, but nothing is overdone or gratuitous. I guess a lot depends on where the person is going.

    Yes, it is, Rebecca! Definitely!

    I definitely will, Katie! I love your blog and look forward to reading it!

    You're welcome, Krista and Diane! And thank you!

  16. Patti--your comment made my day! Thank you! I needed that--and everyone else's encouragement--this morning. I'm glad this week worked. I was really nervous about it, actually. Glad to know it was a success!

    I thought of you, Heather, while reading it. I really think you'll love it!

    Woohoo!!! Do it, Wendy!

    You're welcome, Janna! And thank you! I'm glad you were able to discover two new writers today!

    Me too, Susan! It's one of the best gifts books can give!

    You're welcome, Cindy! I really hope the recipient loves the book as much as I do!

    Me too, Jessica! Thank you! I hope you get it and love it. Please let me know what you think!

  17. Oh, wow. Sounds like a powerful book. A lot of books about missions trips are incredibly moving. Makes me think about Elisabeth Elliot's story.
    Will keep this book in mind.

  18. Sounds like an amazing book! I loved reading about your missionary experiences. Sounds fascinating! I'm so glad the Lord was able to use this book to help in your healing process. Have a fantastic weekend! God bless!

  19. Hi Kristen -

    I hope you let the author know how the book impacted you. It would bless her that she reached your heart.

    Thanks for an exciting week of posts.

    Susan :)

  20. This book sounds fantastic. Thanks for the recommendation, Kristen! My books-to-read list will keep on growing and growing and I like it that way! :)

  21. Looks like an amazing book, Kristen. I think I'll get it for my missionary sister in law and her husband in Kenya. Thanks!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  22. Mystery solved, we have a title! Thanks, too, for the description; it sounds like a wonderful book. I'll have to check it out. Blessings!

  23. It's so rare that a book can make us feel the way this book made you feel. Your reaction is so deep and visceral. I love when that happens for me.

  24. It does sound like a life changing book. Thanks for giving us the heads up!

  25. Thanks, Jennifer and Maria!

    Susan, that's a great idea. I definitely did!

    You're welcome, Julie! That's how I like it too!

    Great idea, Elizabeth! I hope they love it!

    Yebo, Karen! Thanks! Blessings to you too! Have a great weekend!

    So true, Elizabeth. Me too. It's so rare but is one of the best gifts a book can give.

    You're welcome, T.Anne. Thanks for coming by!

  26. Finally, we got the name of the book. :) Thanks Kristen! Definitely on my list. I can relate with the missionary experiences. They can be difficult, but so rewarding at the same time. The memories last a lifetime. Have an awesome weekend, love!

  27. Wow. this really speaks to the power of the written word - Now I got to check out the book. I've never been a missionary but love reading how people work through and resolve their conflicts. You've made me want to read it. Have a great weekend. You're the best. Sarah

  28. Thanks for sharing! I have to add this to my list! As a missionary we often share the good and not the bad or the ugly...maybe we should share more of the realities involved with pioneer missions?

  29. I agree, JungleMom. Or just be honest about what we experience. I'm working on a new story now about a missionary. Kind of seems right, ya know? It was cool to find a book that did it in such an authentic way. Marilyn Griffith also has a missionary character who struggles. It's in one of her novels named after a color--I just can't remember exactly which one. She did a great job too. I need to reread it.

    It definitely does, Sarah! I thought of you while reading this. I think you would understand Cori's struggle. Have a great weekend!

    You're welcome, Ellie! I think you'll like it! Have a great weekend yourself!

  30. In high school I had several penpals in Indonesia. I would've loved to have been able to go and visit them. I'm glad you found a book you love so much.

  31. Sounds like a very interesting book! I think all writers hope to touch people in this way.