Monday, December 5, 2011

Mistaken Identity

You may remember this story from the news a few years ago.  Two girls, Laura Van Ryns and Whitney Cerak,  were in a van that was in a wreck.  One girl died, the other lived, but the authorities had mistaken the identities and gotten the two girls mixed up.  For weeks the Van Ryns had thought they were in the hospital with their daughter/sister, while the Ceraks thought they buried their daughter/sister.  They did look very similar, but how could you go weeks not knowing the girl you were caring for was someone else?

I remember hearing about this story on the news and then seeing the two families on Oprah.  It is a really crazy story.  How does something like that happen?

This book is written by the two families together and they flip-flop between the two families to show you what was going on in each of their lives as story unfolds.

I really can't imagine being on either side of the story.  And you think they would all be mad about the whole thing.  I mean can you imagine being told your daughter was dead and then a month later them saying "Oh sorry we made a mistake. She's actually alive and another family has been by her side this whole time."?  Or could you imagine praying for your daughter/sister's recovery and being by her side for weeks only to discover it wasn't her and another family had actually buried your real daughter/sister?

But these were two families of great faith.  They worshiped God through it all.  No matter what the circumstance,  they prayed, they hoped, they trusted God.  It is a truly incredible story.

I listened to this one on audiobook and I found myself driving with tears in my eyes several times throughout the story.

One of the best parts of the book is towards the end when Whitney is talking about her thoughts in the months after the accident.  She feels all this pressure and guilt of "Why me? Why did I live?" and she felt like people expected great things of her because her life had been spared.  But she finally has to shrug off all that guilt and pressure and just live her life.  I loved that.

There were times I felt it might come across as them pushing their faith on the reader too much instead of just telling the story, but that is why they wrote the book in the first place- to share their faith and hopefully share The Gospel with others.  They didn't want to profit from what happened and didn't want to write a book about it, but the opportunity to share Christ with others is what drove them to do so.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I read this book quite a while ago but I liked it. I just kept wondering how the family didn't know. One of those mysteries that I never will understand unless I was in the situation.

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