Author: Barbara Oleynick
ISBN: 978-0-9755922-5-0 and 0-9755922-5-4
Publisher: Synergy Books
The following review was contributed by: S.V. SWAMY: CLICK TO VIEW S.V. Swamy's Reviews
The photograph of a small baby with chubby cheeks and beautiful eyes calls to
you from the front cover of this book. If you are called or destined to respond,
you will read this book, like I did. This books gets to the core of the reader,
the heart. It certainly did to me. Made me cry at several places with its
intense narration of the lack of love and the consequent cruelty of a man to a
fellow man (I am using that word in its most general form, which encompasses
man, woman and child). The author certainly knows how to grip the reader's
imagination and she made me feel as if I was there when all that she describes
Well, let me give a brief peek into the story. The story is about Grace, God's
grace to be specific, which was sent to earth in the form of Grace, a baby born
to an unwed child of 14, Rachel, who didn't even know that she was pregnant and
who didn't know how she became pregnant. And the baby's arrival is known to a
wise old woman Gyada and is heralded by the appearance of a bright star.
She was waiting for a long time and her role is to teach her. The baby is
abandoned by the child mother and is picked up again through a Divine Plan, by
Albert, a large hearted man, whose wife Henna is equally loving. The two brought
into the world children, who in turn are loving, thus emphasizing the role of
good upbringing. But even where love is lacking, God sometimes has His/Her own
plan like in the case of Rachel.
Rachel proves a loving and forgiving daughter and a wonderfully loving sister
to Stefi, whom she brings up like a mother since her biological mother is
addicted to drugs and uncontrolled sex. Rachel's mother kills her younger
daughter Stefi in a fit of uncontrolled rage, possibly drug induced. She
repents and is forgiven. Rachel is directed by the same Divine force that is
responsible for Grace's adoption by Albert and Henna to go searching for her
baby and naturally is welcomed with open arms by the couple.
Rachel grows up to become a qualified medical doctor and Grace becomes a
miraculous healer. She saves another baby Jeffrey, the grandson of Albert when
he was just a few months old. When she is about ten years old, Grace performs
another healing miracle by healing a man with multiple stab wounds. She
continues to help others and the climax for this particular part comes when she
saves a train from being blown up in a terrorist attack, set in 2008.
The author is at her best when she is narrating scenes of love and interestingly
scenes of great sorrow like when Rachel was delivering her baby not knowing what
is happening, another small child being attended in the Emergency Room by a
desperate team whose members cry when they fail, Stefi's death and Rachel's
desperate attempts to save her sister and similar incidents. When she comes to
the part where she describes the decaying social order, the increasing incidence
of crime, the way children are being ill-treated etc., she sounds more like a
preacher and like a narrator of a documentary film.
The philosophy that she tries to share is really not new and is more eastern
though the western world did have similar thinkers but lost most of that
knowledge in the mad rush for materialism. Now the eastern societies are
pursuing similar agenda and the societies are paying the price. Barbara seems to
send a message through her novel that if sufficient number of people work more
from her heart than from their minds (which are more logical and self-seeking)
and thus share the love (sharing material possessions comes as a natural act
when the heart is full of love), the world can still be saved from a total
You will read this book if you are destined to read. After reading, how you will
feel is dependent upon how much dogmatic your belief systems are. If you are
spiritual and believe in the oneness of Universe, you will resonate with some of
the ideas presented by the author.
As I wrote, the author has a good style and really grips you in the first part
of her book. The later part is as mentioned a little more in a documentary or
reporter style. Still, fairly readable.
The editing of the book left much to be desired. It didn't interfere too much
with my ability to understand but left me wondering at the state of English in
US colleges and universities.