My review of It’s in My Blood by Shawneda Marks


3/4 hearts for sporadic flutters of spiritual expression. I did appreciate the author’s honesty that even Christians struggle with issues regarding pride, envy, and bitterness.

It's in My Blood

About the book:

A mother twisted by fear. Naomi has prayed for God to send her daughter home to restore the relationship they once shared. Almost ten years of praying fasting and pleading has her face to face with her greatest desire and worst fear. A father left in the dark. The only thing more important to John than his wife and child is his relationship with Christ. Everything else in his life is going in the right direction he hopes that his daughters need to come home will be the start of a new chapter in their lives. A daughter betrayed. Rocked to the core by the loss of the last man she loved, Rosalyn isn’t sure how to continue on. Tragic news destroys what she thought would be the happiest moment of her life. Scared and alone she contemplates doing the worst thing possible in her mind, going back home. Will faith be able to heal these broken hearts when there is no one and no where else to turn and home is where the hurt is?

My review:

It’s In My Blood is about so many things… Heartache and family dysfunction. Anger and bitterness robbing people of peace. Pride keeping people from truly loving others. People believing money should give them special privileges. The loss of belief in yourself and in your future because of things that can’t be changed about the past. It’s all in there. I think the most powerful theme in the story parallels a book I recently finished, and that is this… hatred and Jesus Christ can’t live in the same heart. One of them has to go.

Personally, I’ve not know families where such anger and secrets existed. However, I do know these types of family situations exist. That’s the stuff soap operas are made of. I did have a hard time understanding the extreme bitterness between mother and daughter because it’s not how my personality is, and it wasn’t even before I knew Christ. On the other hand, I did understand the sense of betrayal from my many years of working with abused children.

There is no worse pain a child can feel that stemming from betrayal. Parents are supposed to protect their children and help them when they are hurting, not shove the situation under the carpet and pretend it never happened. When denial happens, ugly things develop in a relationship. This is what I saw happening between Naomi and Rosalyn. Their pain was expressed through a good portion of this book. Rosalyn’s dad, John, didn’t help matters by continually stepping between them. In fact, his behavior only made things worse, even though he was trying to help.

This book had a lot of drama from start to finish. While the main character’s diagnosis was a big issue in the book, the focus of the story was more on relationships and the damage caused by bitterness. When forgiveness happens under such conditions, the beauty of it shines brighter. This story had great resolution on so many levels. Women who have strained relationships with their mothers might find this book particularly insightful as to what NOT to do, and how to move beyond the pain toward healing. I enjoyed this story.

It’s in My Blood
was published by SC Productions and released in December 2009.

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