'Gifted' is a story of friendship, eternal love

By Teri Harman

For Mormon Times

Published: Monday, May 16 2011 7:30 a.m. MDT

"GIFTED," by Karey White, Bonneville Books, $14.99, 212 pages (f)

Susan and Brent Weller have been waiting for years for a baby of their own.

When the news comes that a family has chosen them to adopt a newborn girl, they are overjoyed and don't think twice about the unusual circumstances surrounding the baby's adoption. The peace and joy that the baby brings to their home is a constant source of wonder.

Susan, the narrator of her own story, revels in the bliss of motherhood. But as sweet little Anna grows, Susan discovers there are things about her daughter that she does not understand and cannot explain. Anna's gifts are a source of happiness and intrigue but also anxiety and frustration. Susan is caught in a constant state of worry, a tug-of-war between protecting her daughter's wondrous gifts and ensuring she has a normal, happy life.

Anna grows into a smart, beautiful young woman with a fathomless capacity for good and love. She often wonders about her gifts and struggles to understand what they are and what she should do with them. Her gifts prove a source of salvation and sorrow for those closest to her.

In her debut novel, "Gifted" author Karey White crafts a deeply touching story rich with emotion. Her writing is approachable and uncomplicated. Although the narrative starts out a little slow, soon the reader is lost in the characters as they, especially Anna, take on a tender vividness.

The relationships between Anna and her parents and her best friend Kelsey are heartwarming and achingly real.

The themes of family, prayer and trust in God are lovely and strong. The sentiments of the tragically beautiful ending linger long after the last word. This story of eternal love, soul-saving friendship and sacrifice will make any mother's heart ache and eyes wet with tears.

Teri Harman writes and reads from home amid the chaos of three young children. She blogs at book-matters.blogspot.com.

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