The diagnosis came. Cancer. Of all the people I knew, she was the last I would have expected to get cancer. She was healthy, active, careful with everything she ate.
But years before, in the seventies and eighties, she’d spent way too much time in the sun—before people knew that was a thing.
I’m not a crier. Crying doesn’t come easy for me. It’s not that I am unwilling to cry… I just… can’t, most of the time.
Instead, I sat in her memorial service, listened to the congregation sing one song over and over so many times that I wince if I even hear the words from Scripture now, and ached to cry.
When we got home, I went online to a private message board I belong to and typed in three words.
I hate sin.
To be fair, I also recall hearing Mr. Smith’s voice from Meet Me in St. Louis saying, “You also do it.”
But really, we like to complain about cancer as if it was some random, inexplicable thing.
Cancer is the result of sin—not in an individual’s life… I’m not saying that my friend did something wrong that directly caused her to get cancer as retribution.
No, I’m talking about the fact that if sin had never entered this world, we’d have no cancer—no diabetes, no heart disease, no asthma, none of it.
If sin had never entered this world, we wouldn’t have had to say goodbye to a wonderful woman before we were done with her.
One thing I’ve tended to leave out of my books is cancer. I justify it because it’s “overdone.” For all I know, that’s not even true. I can recall a book here and there that deal with it, but not many.
So why did I hesitate when I saw a chance to review a book about a cancer survivor?
Beats me. But I did. Still, I’d heard good things about Beth K. Vogt, so I put in my request for a review copy of Moments We Forget and waited.
The Hardest Thing about This Book and Why I Love It
Obviously, the hardest thing about this book should be the cancer—how even after you’ve beaten it, you can lose. Lose your memory, your hopes, your dreams.
I won’t pretend that wasn’t hard, but the point of this book is that hope isn’t found in a lack of cancer diagnosis. It’s found in Jesus.
No, the hardest thing was watching the relationships between these sisters and seeing similarities in people you know and love—seeing how they create their own pain. Seeing that avoiding the pain causes a different kind of pain.
I love the book because the author, with brilliant use of words, welcomes you into the lives of characters. Even her point of view choices offer insights into character development and in the end, you’re left with wanting more.
And that’s a good thing because guess what?
This was book two. We are offered an invitation to walk through that cancer journey with Jillian in Things I Never Told You. It’s on my shelf. It’ll be hard to read. I’m walking through another cancer battle with another friend right now.
Actually, that’s a bit… overstated. She’s walking. I’m following behind, weeping, praising God for victories, begging Him for more time (she’s stage IV), ready to be a support if she needs me but instead, being supported by her amazingness.
This book didn’t just tell stories I related to in a brilliant and poignant way. It prepared my heart for more… for understanding more. And maybe, just perhaps… it helped prepare me for the next day when I come home from a memorial service after saying “see you soon” to a friend who has gone to be with Jesus.
And that day, I’ll probably type those three, horrible words again. I hate sin.
Not an easy book to read, but it’s not hard, either. I don’t know how to classify it, but I recommend it for people who value friendships, who understand broken relationships, and who want to invest a bit more in their lives. I’m so glad I requested and received a review copy. Looking forward to book one. Sort of.
Moments We Forget is on tour with Celebrate Lit.
About the Book
Book: Moments We Forget
Author: Beth Vogt
Genre: Contemporary fiction, woman’s fiction
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Jillian Thatcher has spent most of her life playing the family peacemaker, caught in the middle between her driven, talented older sister and her younger, spotlight-stealing twin sisters. Then on the night of her engagement party, a cancer diagnosis threatens to once again steal her chance to shine.
Now, Jillian’s on the road to recovery after finally finishing chemo and radiation, but residual effects of the treatment keep her from reclaiming her life as she’d hoped. And just when her dreams might be falling into place, a life-altering revelation from her husband sends her reeling again. Will Jillian ever achieve her own dreams, or will she always be “just Jillian,” the less-than Thatcher sister?
Can she count on her sisters as she tries to step into a stronger place, or are they stuck in their childhood roles forever?
About the Author
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A women’s fiction novelist, Beth’s first novel for Tyndale House Publishers, Things I Never Told You, released May 2018.
Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA®finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly‘s Best Books of 2014. A November Bride was part of the Year of Wedding series by Zondervan. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us.
An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.
More from Beth
“A sister is like yourself in a different movie, a movie that stars you in a different life.”
I’m launching Moments We Forget, book two in the Thatcher Sisters series, and I’ve just turned in the final book in the series. I’d love to share book three’s title with you, but I don’t know what it is. (Of course, book three might have a final title by the time you read this—that’s part of the fun of prerelease deadlines.)
One thing I do know: the theme of “Little Women gone wrong” is woven through all of the books . . . thanks to the Thatcher sisters: Payton, Pepper, Jillian, and Johanna.
Sisters, be they real or imaginary, can be complicated.
Of course, there are sisters who have close relationships. They “get” each other and love doing life together.
But then there are the sister relationships that are like mismatched socks. Or those expensive jeans you loved in the store, but when you bring them home, they never quite live up to those moments in the dressing room.
Such are the Thatcher sisters. Johanna, Jillian, Payton, and Pepper grew up in the same family. They’re all tall. They love Broncos football and board games. But in so many ways their lives are like different movies because they each made different choices. Choices that changed and separated them. Moments We Forget continues to explore whether the Thatcher sisters can find a way to understand each other enough to bridge the distance between them.
Livin’ Lit, May 7
The Power of Words, May 7
Among the Reads, May 8
Carpe Diem, May 8
Quiet Quilter, May 8
Wishful Endings, May 9
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 9
Simple Harvest Reads, May 10 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, May 10
God’s Little Bookworm, May 11
Just the Write Escape, May 11
Spoken from the Heart, May 12
Splashes of Joy, May 12
Through the Fire Blogs, May 13
Genesis 5020, May 13
By The Book, May 13
Bigreadersite, May 14
A Baker’s Perspective, May 14
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 14
Pause for Tales, May 15
Moments, May 15
All-of-a-kind Mom, May 16
Texas Book-aholic, May 16
janicesbookreviews, May 17
Living Life Free in Christ, May 17
To Everything A Season, May 17
Real World Bible Study, May 18
Older & Smarter, May 18
A Reader’s Brain, May 18
Inklings and notions, May 19
Hallie Reads, May 19
Locks, Hooks and Books, May 19
Godly Book Reviews, May 20
The Becca Files, May 20
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 20
To celebrate her tour, Beth is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card plus a softcover copy of Moments We Forget!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e26d/moments-we-forget-celebration-tour-giveaway