Some Kind of Normal by Heidi Willis
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I finished this on Monday 7 June 2010. I was on the train, surrounded by people, trying to hide the fact that I was crying. It was extremely difficult and I’m not sure if I succeeded or not. But in the end it didn’t matter. I didn’t care. I stared out the window into the dark night and let it happen.
Some Kind of Normal is different to what I usually read. It’s a book that I probably wouldn’t have taken any notice of, except for the fact that I’ve been reading the author’s blog for about eight or so months. The author writes well balanced, informative posts which I always enjoy and it was for that reason I decided to take a chance on her book.
Babs Babcock is a wife and mother. She’s not special in any way. She considers herself unintelligent, uninformed and unlikely to ever amount to anything. She is even unsure in her faith. Her family are normal, everyday battlers. Her husband barely holding on to his job. Her son rebellious and distant. Her daughter a typical pre-teen. When her daughter collapses in the driveway one morning, their lives change forever. Everything they know is thrown aside and the threat of death looms around them constantly.
This is a story of a family battling with difficult decisions that go against everything they believe in. They must fight their inner demons, but they also find themselves fighting against each other and the community. They must sit and watch someone they love deal with pain, discomfort and possible death. They must do this without knowing if their lives will ever return to some kind of normal again.
It’s a story that challenges the reader to think about what they would do if they found themselves in a similar situation. It’s a story that reminds us that we have no right to judge other people’s actions and decisions.
Babs is fictitious, but she’s so well written you’d swear she was a real woman with real problems. Because of this, it felt like I was privy to her personal diary and that drew me into the family’s crisis and held me tight. Having a family history of type 1 diabetes (although I don’t have it myself) I also learned a lot about this medical condition and now understand what aunts and cousins are going through, which I never fully appreciated before.
The book isn’t filled with dragons or made up worlds or brave men carrying heavy swords. You won’t find action scenes filled with blood and gore or murderous villains with evil thoughts of taking over the world within these pages. What you will find is a mother’s battle to keep her daughter alive…and it’s so real, it’s heart wrenching.
It’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it.