Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book Review - Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke


There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions: Why? and Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question: Who? Who are you, God? Who are you to me?

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors' appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and crushing self-doubt. And then, the unthinkable. Cancer is now threatening not only her own life but also the lives of both her parents.

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites you to discover, as she did, that even in life's hardest places, you are not alone in your fear, you are not foolish to hope, and you are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.


Lynne Hartke is a breast cancer survivor who celebrates the difficult and the beautiful with her husband, Kevin, in Chandler, Arizona where they have pastored a church for over thirty years. When not out on the desert trails avoiding rattlesnakes, Lynne is blogging, speaking and volunteering with several cancer organizations, and keeping up with their four grown children and three grandchildren. Lynne is currently training to hike from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the North Rim (a distance of 23 miles) in one day--because cancer taught her to grab onto life with both hands.


This is a very poignant book written from the author's heart. She shares the hard things and the good things with equal insight and clarity. It's not always an easy book to read because she shares the hard truths about her cancer as well as her parents cancer, but she does it with great grace.

Lynne is an avid hiker and a lot of her stories are based on her own hiking experiences or her families. She shows parallels between the hard and joys of hiking with the struggles we have in life. It also made me think of our faith in God - the times when we question Him about what's happening and it's hard to believe and then the joys of total faith when we have hope and/or see Him doing His great works.

Since I live in the same State as she does, I could truly relate to her lessons and observations of the desert. The dryness that seems to hold no treasures yet when you look closely, there is beautiful life everywhere. She makes beautiful observations about the desert and what it feels like to be going through one in our life.

This book would definitely be good for someone going through cancer or for those who know someone who is. She shares insights as well as Scriptures that will be of comfort. She emphasizes our need for God through these desert times. I enjoyed this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Revell

Blessings - Julie

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