Author: Janet Tombow
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-79849771-1-6

Secrets of my past were about to surface. Some truths would have to be faced that would cause gut-wrenching pain. Many tears would result, many pages of journaling, and many days and nights of self-analysis. Many prayers would be needed to see me though this painful period of my life,” Janet Tombow writes in her book, Stolen But Not Lost.

Targeted toward readers who enjoy redemptive autobiographies, this two hundred and forty-two page paperback book centers on being unloved, lost, and found again within family relationships. With no profanity, mild violence and abuse are discussed within the nine Christian-based chapters that included tips to find missing persons.

Growing up for Janet Tombow was painful, lonely, and extremely disciplined. At the young age of five years old, her father and his parents took her across the country to live in California, never explaining why her mother did not come with them.

Almost fifty years later when Tombow experienced headaches, she went to a Christian family counselor who started to peel away her sheltered upbringing of being physically, verbally, and mentally abused by her father and step-mother.

Having been told all her life that her biological mother never wanted her, the author grabbed on to the only source of connection she could: a controlling, mean, abusive step-mother who berated, beat, and humiliated her whenever possible.

Through five years of counselling, not only did Janet learn how to forgive her father and step-mother for the constant abuse, she began to seek answers of why her birth mother supposedly abandoned her.

With meticulous detail, journals entry notes, and lists of to-dos, the reader is taken through forty-five years of the writer’s life including moves to Texas and Florida, her parents and her health issues, her dog named Cricket, cars and car accidents, and letters written to her mother.

As she sheds the guilt and shame, she finds her birth mother, learning the truth about the past. Being able to spend ten years of quality time with her mom, she learns how God  protected her during the bad times and lifted her up during the good days getting to know her lost parent.

Although the book gets bogged down in the minutiae of day-to-day living, the reader is shown Tombow’s heartbreaking journey that forces her to depend on God as she forgives hurtful relationships and starts over with a blessed one.

Thanks to The Book Club Network Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

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