Book Review: Under The Rainbow

Under The Rainbow: A Mother’s Experiences Of The Promises Of God, by Catherine Campbell

As the second book I have read from Northern Irish minister’s wife Catherine Campbell [1], and the second one involving rainbows, it should be clear that for Mrs. Campbell, rainbows are a personal sign of God’s grace that she has taken to heart. Unlike the previous book I read of hers, this book is not a devotional but rather the memoir of her experiences as the mother to two sweet but highly disabled girls (named Cheryl and Joy) who were not long for this world but whose patience in the midst of immense and crippling and ultimately fatal difficulties proved to be an inspiration for many. From its beginning poem to its closing epilogue, this book is a heart-tugging account of a mother’s love and a struggle to have faith in God despite immense challenges.

In this book one seeks a wide variety of ways that human beings cope with immense grief, including having a supportive family and group of friends, as well as as a larger social network of supporters. Likewise, the author remains sensitive to cues from songs and conversations, which show a great up and down feeling, showing the author to essentially be an emotional person. Some of the things that the author draws comfort in (including a specific interpretation of a verse in 2 Samuel that I would strongly disagree with) would not mean the same to me, but her drawing comfort from the Bible in general (including Psalm 139 [2]) and from music is something I can definitely relate to personally.

One thing that makes this book easy to read from an intellectual standpoint, even if it is a tough book to read emotionally, is that it is written in a very straightforward chronological fashion. In dealing with the griefs of my own life, I would have been more tempted to organize it thematically or turn it into a giant and difficult puzzle for others to work out, but she writes her grief openly and honestly. The book was originally written and published in 1999 with a largely Northern Irish audience, and though I did become an adult in 1999 (I know, it seems so long ago), I do not think I would have related to the novel then as I do now, even though I still have no wee ones of myself. I am simply at a different place in my life now than I was as a teenager, a place in life that certainly leads me to have much more understanding of the grief of loss and the way that our deep struggles build in us a nobility of character than be created no other way.

Although this book is a tear-jerker, it is a worthwhile book that should attract a sympathetic audience especially from parents or those profoundly interested in parenting. It is clearly written from the perspective of the author, but is full of generally sympathetic views and insights about how her own private grief led her into greater compassion on others, and her work to make the world a better place for those who suffered like her sweet and tender-hearted daughters, innocents with whom it is impossible not to sympathize. For essentially being an honest but deeply sympathetic work, this work ought to encourage those who wrestle with ridicule for themselves or loved ones because of being unusual or different, a curse many of us have to deal with.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/book-review-ranbows-for-rainy-days/

More information can be found out about the author here: http://www.catherine-campbell.com/

[2] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/was-david-familiar-with-the-book-of-job-the-enigma-of-psalm-139/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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10 Responses to Book Review: Under The Rainbow

  1. Thank you Nathan for taking the time to read my book ‘Under the Rainbow’. I do appreciate the detail you have taken over this review. It is my prayer that those who read it will find encouragement in the God who keeps His promises. Oh, by the way, none of my other titles mention the Rainbow 🙂

    • That is true that none of your other titles mention the rainbow, but it happens that both of the books I have read of yours do :D. I’m glad you appreciated the detail of the review.

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