I'd never heard of Katherine and Jay Wolf or read their blog before, but as soon as I heard about their new book, Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love, I knew I wanted to read it. I was actually kind of glad that I went into the book fresh, not knowing anything about them or their story beforehand, because it was all new to me. I always love reading memoirs of people who have overcome great obstacles and have gone through great titles, and this certainly qualifies. When Katherine and Jay's new son was just six months old, Katherine suffered a massive stroke. Miraculously, she survived, and has gone on to make incredible strides in her recovery. The book description reads:
"When all seems lost, where can hope be found?
Katherine and Jay married right after college and sought adventure far from home in Los Angeles, CA. As they pursued their dreams, they planted their lives in the city and in their church community. Their son, James, came along unexpectedly in the fall of 2007, and just 6 months later, everything changed in a moment for this young family.
On April 21, 2008, as James slept in the other room, Katherine collapsed, suffering a massive brain stem stroke without warning. Miraculously, Jay came home in time and called for help. Katherine was immediately rushed into micro-brain surgery, though her chance of survival was slim. As the sun rose the next morning, the surgeon proclaimed that Katherine had survived the removal of part of her brain, though her future recovery was completely uncertain. Yet in that moment, there was a spark of hope. Through 40 days on life support in the ICU and nearly 2 years in full-time brain rehab, that spark of hope was fanned into flame.
Defying every prognosis, with grit and grace, Katherine and Jay, side by side, struggled to regain a life for Katherine as she re-learned to talk and eat and walk. Returning home with a severely disabled body but a completely renewed purpose, they committed to celebrate this gift of a second chance by embracing life fully, even though that life looked very different than they could have ever imagined. In the midst of continuing hardships and struggles, both in body and mind, Katherine and Jay found what we all long to find...hope, hope that heals the most broken place, our souls.
An excruciating yet beautiful road to recovery has led the Wolf family to their new normal, in which almost every moment of life is marked with the scars of that fateful April day in 2008. Now, eight years later, Katherine and Jay are stewarding their story of suffering, restoration, and Christ-centered hope in this broken world through their ministry Hope Heals."
Hope Heals begins with a heartfelt introduction by Joni Eareckson Tada, no stranger to suffering herself. The book is divided into four parts: The Dream Broken, The Hope Deferred, The Miracle Continues, and The Healing Found. There are plenty of pictures included, which I always appreciate. This is a small book hardcover, 244 pages long, and it's a very quick read. As soon as I picked it up and read the first page, I just couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next and how Katherine would be healed, and how their lives would be changed and affected. Jay and Katherine's strong faith is so inspiring, and God truly carried them through their entire ordeal - and continues to do so. I appreciated the raw honesty they displayed in sharing their story. They don't gloss over the trials or try to sugarcoat their story, but at the same time they're still so uplifting and full of faith. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading memoirs, or could use a faith boost of their own.
I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.