Jordan, a quiet, reclusive elementary school classmate of Sarah's son Danny, has survived a terrible ordeal. By agreeing to become Jordan's foster mother, Sarah will be forced to question the things she has long believed. And as the delicate threads that bind their family begin to unravel, all the Ladens will have to face difficult truths about themselves and one another—and discover the power of love necessary to forgive and to heal. - harper collins
One of my very favorite blogs Book Club Girl had an offer too good to refuse. A few weeks ago, she announced that she would be hosting Katrina Kittle, author of THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS, on her BlogTalk Radio show. She would send us the book if we were willing to read it and participate in the discussion. Of course, I jumped at the chance! I had listened to her show with Jamie Saul author of LIGHT OF DAY, and I thought it really enhanced my understanding of the book.
I loved THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS; and I was hooked on the story from the first page. The book dealt some horrific issues, but the author handled them extremely well. That's not to say that it wasn't difficult to read parts of this book, but there was absolutely no way that I could put it down. After I finished this book, I could not stop thinking about it or the characters in it. I think this story is going to stick with me for quite awhile.
The main characters were extremely likable, despite their issues; and I loved that everything ultimately worked out for them. Please don't think that I'm giving away the ending because Ms. Kittle's first chapter takes place in the present and the rest of the book is a flashback. (Thank goodness she wrote the book that way because I don't know if I could have handled reading the book otherwise). I truly loved that both Jordan and the Laden family were ultimately healed by helping each other --I was so touched by this story.
I thought the book was extremely well written, and I really liked how Ms. Kittle tackled a delicate situation. Each chapter was told from the third person perspective about a different character in the book. The reader really gets to know and care about each character because of the way it was written. I felt that all of the characters were very believable; and it's very apparent that the author understands children.
I was really looking forward to hearing Ms. Kittle discuss her book last night. I was very curious about what inspired her to write a book such as THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS. Her answer makes an incredible story too. I loved listening to her talk about her book, and I think I even like the book more (if that's possible) after the show. If you want to hear Ms. Kittle talk about this book on BlogTalk Radio, click here.
I think this book would be an amazing book club selection. Of course, there is a reading guide with lots of questions to get you started. I actually found myself wanting to talk about it with my book club the other night, even though none of them read it! There is just so much to talk about and reflect on. It's not a book that I will forget anytime soon.