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Too young to die?

By Andrew Stone
February 2018 | Review by James Hindson
  • Publisher: DayOne Publications
  • ISBN: 1846255929
  • Pages: 128
  • Price: £7.00
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Andrew Stone is married to Susan and they have a daughter called Hannah. In 2012, Hannah was about to start university in Bangor. However, she experienced kidney failure and had to have a transplant. She was then diagnosed with cancer, which, despite treatment, was later pronounced as terminal.

Remarkably, Hannah recovered, and this book is Andrew’s account of what she and the family went through. It is reconstructed from emails he sent to family and Christian friends. These emails reported Hannah’s circumstances — sometimes giving cause for praise, sometimes supplication.

As the father of a daughter who had liver disease and who, after years of suffering, had a successful liver transplant, I have some appreciation of what Andrew, Susan and Hannah went through. Remembering my own experience in reading this book brought tears to my eyes. It is a book I would recommend to anyone wishing to read about the extraordinary faith and trust in God shown by an ordinary family going through a period of trial.

The greatest thing that stands out is the solid trust and faith that Andrew, Susan and Hannah maintained in their loving God, and their practical reliance on him in order to navigate the traumatic years of treatment.

The fact that the story is told through emails means that the reader follows the story in ‘real time’, as it were. When Andrew tells us that Hannah’s cancer was diagnosed as terminal, we live through that news.

We can read of the family’s humble, perseverant belief in the will of their Father in heaven, even though they didn’t know whether Hannah would live or die. At this point in the book I turned to the last few pages to see if Hannah lived!

The whole family manifests faith in the sovereign control of God over events. This shines through the book on many occasions. It is the main message and challenge which comes across to readers.

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