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A Book Review . . . Trials Big And Small

March 14, 2015 Featured Today No Comments

By REY FLORES

Still That Girl by Rebecca Dominick, paperback: 2014. Available at amazon.com.

It isn’t every day that a 16-year-old publishes a book, but that it’s someone coming from a Catholic home-schooled family does not surprise me at all. The young author is Rebecca Dominick and her very first book is titled Still That Girl.
Still That Girl is a story about life, and its trials big and small. The story opens on a pleasant home scene where the different Anderson family members are going about their own business and enjoying the quiet snowy afternoon.
Katarina, the youngest Anderson, is a happy 13-year-old enjoying time with her best friend Abigail Dunham; the two can hardly look at each other without bursting out in giggles. Life is so good.
Life gets even better when Katarina’s grandmother calls and invites her and Abigail to spend a month with her at her Ohio home. The trip becomes an enjoyable one where Katarina’s grandparents do everything in their power to make sure the girls’ visit is unforgettable. Unfortunately, the trip does become an unforgettable one, but not in a good way, because of one telephone call.
The bad news comes quickly and abruptly ends the girls’ idyllic trip to Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were on their way home from their monthly date night when a car flew around a corner and crashed into the Andersons’ vehicle!
It turns out that Abigail’s mother was the only nearby witness to the accident, and she realized that it was the Andersons who were killed in that tragic crash. The girls would be returning back to Massachusetts, but this time accompanied by Katarina’s grandparents, on their way to a double funeral.
The day after the funeral is Katarina’s and Abigail’s first day of school and no one expects to see Katarina at school that day. “Why shouldn’t I be here? It’s God’s fault that my parents died!” No one could believe what she said.
After the school day, Abigail and Katarina part ways, but Abigail becomes very worried about what Katarina had said about God. She speaks to her mother about it and her mother then speaks to Katarina’s older sister Antoinette.
Antoinette buys Katarina a diary in which she can write down all of her thoughts. The entire family does their best to help Katarina begin to love God again. But nothing seems to help.
Seven years later, Abigail and Katarina are still friends. Katarina is still feeling the same hurt and distrust that she felt seven whole years earlier. They say time heals all wounds, but the amount of time depends on how deep the wounds are.
Many changes are happening to Katarina’s family, as they happen to all of our families. Some members of the family are headed off to college, others are now married and having babies, while the older members of the family are now infirm and hopefully ready to face a peaceful death.
In a twist of fate, as Katarina leaves the hospital room where her beloved grandmother just passed away, she notices a forlorn young man near the elevator. He looks vaguely familiar but Katarina cannot remember from where.
Over the next few weeks Katarina keeps seeing this young man almost everywhere and finally one day when she is home alone she sees the young man standing across the street in the rain. Without even thinking, she runs out and goes across the street to where he is standing and begins to ask why she keeps seeing him everywhere.
It turns out the young man is a boy Katarina and Abigail met on that fateful trip to Ohio years earlier. Liam tells Katarina that he, too, lost people close to him not long after her visit. Liam’s father and younger sister had passed away shortly after Katarina left Ohio.
Because of this renewed friendship, Katarina begins to heal and get over her sadness and even begins to find herself loving God a little more each day.
I hope I didn’t give too much away, but the real enjoyment you’ll get out of this book comes from the details that this young author shares that are part fiction, and part based on her own personal experiences.
Rebecca hopes to continue writing and is already working on a follow-up novel to Still That Girl.
I encourage young people of all ages to keep up with Rebecca on her blog at: http://rebeccadominick.weebly.com/.

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(Rey Flores is a catholic writer and speaker. Follow Rey on Twitter: @ReyFloresUSA and contact Rey at: reyfloresusa@gmail.com.)

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