Saturday, July 16, 2011

Book Review: Falling Through Ice by Carolyn Huebner Rankin with Rosetta D. Hoessli

An amazing true story of child abuse, an adult life damaged by secrets, and the power of God's healing is what you'll find in Falling Through Ice by Carolyn Huebner Rankin with Rosetta D. Hoessli.

Carolyn Sue Shaw was only six when she was abducted by her biological mother. She was neglected and sexually abused as no child ever should be.  Once returned to her parents, the Shaws try to put Carolyn's ordeal behind them. But Carolyn's past continues to haunt her into adulthood.

Married to Larry Huebner, and mother to daughter Audra, Carolyn starts Texas Child Search, Inc. and dedicates her life to helping children so they don't suffer the way she did. But she can't sleep and she finds it hard to be the mother that Audra needs. Nightmares and strange, broken memories fill her mind. She is chosen to work in the San Antonio District Attorney's Office, where her daily work continues to bring her back to those days of her capture and abuse.

After years of working to save children and being interviewed by the media hundreds of times, Carolyn Sue Huebner makes headlines for attempting to solicit a hit man to kill her husband. As her past and present collide, she spends years in a penitentiary trying to finally deal with the secrets that have made her life a living hell and to reconnect with the God her Daddy had told her about; the God she now knows was with her every step of the way.

I honestly wasn't sure until the end of Falling Through Ice how I was going to feel about it. The story seems too out there to be true; and yet, after years of therapy and with the help of family and friends, Carolyn was able to piece together the puzzle that was her life. She chose her good friend and chief assistant from Texas Child Search, Inc., Rosetta Hoessli (Ronni) to collaborate on this story. Hoessli is a full-time freelance writer and editor who has had articles on child sexual abuse published in McCall's and the Christian Herald.

This gripping true story is told by Ronni, which is unexpected, especially since the majority of the story is told through Carolyn's eyes. There are also times when confusion took over because Ronni was sometimes spoken about in the third person, though she was the narrator.

That said, I couldn't put Falling Through Ice down. I had to keep turning the pages of this fantastic, moving story. The details of Carolyn's abuse are graphic and downright scary to someone like me who has thankfully never experienced such torture.

The one thing I wish we had seen more of is Carolyn's developing relationship with her Savior. God had always been there for her--sometimes appearing as a vision in a flowing white robe--but while it's acknowledged that her time in prison really started her on the way to reaching out to God, we hear more about this aspect of Carolyn's life from her current husband, James Rankin, in the epilogue he provides at the end of the book. There are Bible verses included in different parts, and it's obvious Carolyn sees God's hand in her life all the way through; even when she couldn't see it then. I was just looking for a bit more of that transformation during prison and after her marriage to James.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy gripping narratives.

Title:  Falling Through Ice
Author: Carolyn Huebner Rankin with Rosetta D. Hoessli
Publisher: Crossover Publications
ISBN-10: 0981965776
ISBN-13: 978-0981965772
SRP:  $18.95

I received a copy of this book from the author's publicist in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation to provide my review.

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