Book Review: Unlocked
I love this book. Maybe it’s my perspective, but as a mother of two children on the autism spectrum and a woman of faith, I think it’s absolutely a must-read.
I found myself treading lightly through the first half, saddened by the first chapters and the pangs of hurt I feel myself when those who don’t know my children underestimate them or worse—make fun of them and see no potential for relationship when they look at them. I stood in the hallway with Holden Harris…soaking it up…praying through my own worse nightmares when I think about what middle school and high school could be like for my own. I cried with his mother, Tracy, over the losses she’d suffered, over her anxieties, her frustration, her confusion, and her prayers. This book begins with a lot of listening on the part of the reader…a lot of seeing. And then, just as I began to pick up the tune and pull the music out of the quagmire of feelings and thoughts I’d been brewing, everything swelled to an almost deafening crescendo, and I could.not.put.it.down.
In the afterward, Karen Kingsbury explains that, “when I was finished, I had the sudden, certain feeling that I was on holy ground, that God had met me in that crowded plane and given me this story as a very special gift.” All I can say is that the Holy Spirit’s fingerprints are all over this story. It’s a novel based on the true story of a boy with autism who found his way out of the prison of sensory integration and communication disorder, past his social challenges and fear, out of the back row of a theater onto the stage. The book is fiction inspired by truth, and I can tell you this: I see the truth born on the pages of this book every day of my life. I literally ask God daily (sometimes multiple times a day) to free my children from the things that hold them captive. In Holden, I see my son, who has always loved music and seems most able to communicate when he hears it. My son also loves to perform, and I absolutely believe he could one day stand on a stage and melt an entire auditorium to tears. I see my children constantly teaching other people that different does not equal less. I see them loving others freely and purely, loving God fiercely (oh, how they can worship!), and I see them opening eyes and showing others that they are more—so much more—than the surface evidences of the challenges they face and bravely—even miraculously—overcome on a continual basis.
To Karen Kingsbury, I say thank you for allowing God to use you to write this book. You cannot imagine the ways that God is already using it to touch lives, but somehow, by the evidence of your faith, I know this is a fact that you embrace.
Bottom line: This is a beautiful novel about love and how much we all need it poured out and running over. It’s about the deep blessing of real friendship, the Power of a loving, almighty, glorious God, and the truth that we are all so much more than what can be seen by looking at us only from the outside. We all need to seen—-really seen. Oh how we cherish those who can look into our eyes and see to our hearts and souls, those who will stand patiently with us as we confront life’s challenges, those who will hear us when no one else appears to be listening. You need to read this book.