A review on a Monday? When you know I have my own story to tell? You’ll have to come back Wednesday to find out why the sky is falling.
Grace Graham has more problems than most people I know. A young single mother living in California, far from her family, she struggles to make the right decisions for her four-year-old son. Her first decision had been not to vaccinate Dylan, because her friend and employer’s son had become autistic within days of his MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) shot as a toddler, and she’d found a lot of information on the internet that corroborated the story.
Another of Grace’s problems is running when things get tough. As the story opens, her sister Jana throws down the gauntlet, challenging Grace to come home and take care of their father following his knee surgery. Jana has been doing all the daughter stuff, and her baby, Hannah Rose (**waves to my own daughter Hanna Rose!**), has not been sleeping well due to chronic ear infections. Jana is at her wit’s end and demands some help back home in Tennessee.
Grace goes. Things have been nasty in California. She’d broken off with her fiance, and her employer was hitting a rough spot, and it just seems easier to go back home than stay and deal with things, even though she’s never gotten along with her dad. In fact, she blames him for her mother’s death.
A few days after she and Dylan arrive in Tennessee, Dylan becomes ill, and it soon becomes apparent that he has the measles, which quickly spreads to Hannah Rose and other babies that had been in the church nursery the first Sunday Grace and Dylan had been home–babies too young to have been immunized, whatever decision their parents may have made about it.
In no time Grace is the object of much hatred as people blame her for the outbreak. Her decision not to have Dylan vaccinated is now affecting other families. Will Grace face up to her problems, or run away again?
I had a hard time liking Grace Graham through the first part of the book. She seemed to be a very narrow-minded person, and I was disappointed that practically the first heroine I’d seen that believed in organic foods and healthful living was coming across like some kind of extremist nutcase. It took awhile to get past that and thus reeled into the story.
If you’re looking for a fluffy read, Another Dawn is not the book for you. But I do appreciate that even though the book read, at times, like a who’s who of vaccination research wrapped up in a story, Cushman resisted the impulse to make a final judgment on the topic. What she did tie up was Grace’s inner journey to healing.
Kathryn Cushman has a degree in pharmacy (which qualifies her to have an opinion on the book’s topic!) and has practiced as a pharmacist in Georgia, Tennessee, and California. She’s the author of three previous novels and lives with her family in California, where she tries to keep up with her daughters in their various theater, mascot, dance, and filled-with-activity lives.
**I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher for the purposes of review with the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. Opinions, as always, are mine alone.