Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Review of Lily Sanders' Where Eagles Soar


 






Jacket Blurb: In 1947, Lily Sanders and her family moved to a homestead in the edge of an Athabaskan village in the Alaskan Territory. It was an ideal location for her father, a mountain man and hunting guide. It also provided a place where the world could not see his brutality. A heartless act by her father leaves Lily brokenhearted and strips away any thread of hope that one day he might love her. She vows to never forgive him and turns to the powerful bond of love she shares with her sweet-spirited mother and her many sisters. Together they share the adventure, beauty, and heartache of their wilderness life.

Where Eagles Soar is the true account of Lily Sanders written in beautiful story form by Author Bonnie Leon. I’ve never before read a book that gripped me by the heart like Where Eagles Soar. Lily tells her story in such a way that brings Glory to God, shows the life-long struggles of the girl Lily, and ends with the mature Lily longing to know and then finds the love of Jesus Christ.

Where Eagles Soar quote: There are people in this world who walk around all scarred up inside—angry and never able to find their way. But for some, scars make them stronger and show them a better way to live. I’m one of those. And I want to tell you my story.

How anyone could survive the wilds of Alaska by the hand of a father such as Lily’s makes this a miracle of God, but there’s so much more. The story’s setting begins in the lower states, where Lily moves at age one to Alaska. Over the years she encounters hardships. Lily almost dies several times. Someone with whom she was very close does die. And Lily’s once innocent heart is torn to shreds by the bitterness she feels toward her father.

Where Eagles Soar quote: When we walked away from her grave, hate burned inside of me. I’d never forget. I’d never forgive. Never.

But life is not always dismal. Lily’s blessings include her love of Alaska and her sisters with whom she plays and works beside her sisters with whom she plays and works beside in the great wilderness of Alaska. Then there’s her mother who makes the most delicious bread and teaches Lily about the Prayer Jar and the Great White God.

Lily learns to hunt, trap, and run sled dogs and even wins the races when girls were not allowed to be in a sled contest. Though Lily has a stubborn nature, she meets every single demand of her father’s in hopes to gain his respect and attention.

Even after Lily’s father arranged her marriage to a much older man, she hunts and traps with her father. When Lily’s bitterness toward her father escalates and she fears for her own children’s safety from him, Lily makes plans to leave. Years pass, though, and Lily is stuck under a tyrant’s thumb otherwise known as Daddy.

After Lily’s children are grown and on their own, Lily and one of her sisters escaped to Southern Oregon. The two women hid inside a vehicle until they crossed into the boarder of Canada. At first Lily and her sister suffer from culture shock. They end up living on the banks of the Rogue River, which makes them feel more at home. The question that haunts and batters Lily’s heart came with her to Oregon: Why doesn’t my father love me?

Change comes by way of a Christian lady named Joy. Joy takes Lily in under her protection. She gives Lily a job and shares the gospel of Jesus Christ. When Lily determines to attend a worship service, she becomes fearful of going inside and being in a crowd of people. Lily stands outside the church building and watches the door so she could meet one special person.

Where Eagles Soar quote: I kept waiting for Jesus, but I never seen him.
Instead, a kind man approached Lily after the service and began to teach her about Jesus Christ. Is Lily able to forgive her father right away? That takes time. The day comes when glory of God shines, as Lily allows him to cleanse her heart from the bitter root of unforgiveness.

Lily ends her memoir with this statement: Life is good. It’s a gift. And the One True God has lifted me high up so I can soar on wings like eagles.

Until next time . . . read a book that inspires your love for the Lord Jesus