20650308Reviewed by Lindsay Yocum

Raising John was an interesting read. It follows a young boy, John, whose mother died tragically in a car accident when he was a baby. After his mother’s death, he was taken in and raised by his grandmother, Barbara. As John grew older, his questions regarding the past became more and more persistent, and his grandmother was torn between leaving the past behind her, and setting the record straight with her grandson.

The book takes us back and forth between past and present, and we really get to know John’s mother, Mary, fairly well. She was quick witted, highly intelligent, and had finally overcome issues with her abusive father that had hung over her for most of her adult life. The author takes us on a journey of a submissive wife and mother who often turned the other cheek. In a way, it makes your heart ache for Mary, because Barbara could never be like that when Mary really needed her to.

The book jumped back and forth between past and present to really give you the full picture of what happens. It’s what made a twist in the book difficult to imagine because it was so heartbreaking.

As John grew older, he began to question why he didn’t have a grandfather. Once he reached school age, the more he saw his peers with a father or grandfather the more he grew restless. He asked about meeting his grandfather daily. After all, it was only him and Barbara for his entire life. So when John’s grandfather, Robert, finally emerges, Barbara is challenged with protecting John in a way she could never protect her daughter.

Overall, I liked this book. It was well written and the story line always kept me wanting to know more. The main themes of the book dealt with overcoming the struggles of one’s past and the power of forgiveness. There were a couple twists that helped you understand the entire story, but there were some pieces in it that I felt were a little over the top. The dialogue between the characters in the book seemed unnatural at times, but it was easy to overlook that.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Lindsay Yocum resides in California with her 5 year old firecracker daughter, Bear, and her hilarious husband. She spends her free time traveling, baking, ruining DIY crafts she finds on Pinterest, and running, when she isn’t nose deep in a book. 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Virtual Author Book Tours. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.