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Like Dandelion Dust    by Karen Kingsbury order for
Like Dandelion Dust
by Karen Kingsbury
Order:  USA  Can
Center Street, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

When Jack and Molly Campbell adopted Joey, it was a dream come true. Their life was already nearly perfect - Jack's business provides them with a fabulous income and material items galore, and Joey completed the idyllic picture. They never tire of hearing how bright and well-adjusted their now four-year-old son is. But miles from their Florida home in Ohio, a woman must face the decision she made four years before.

Wendy Porter made the only choice she could. She discovered she was pregnant right after her husband Rip went to jail for domestic violence. Wendy knew she couldn't keep the baby, and never wanted Rip to touch him, so she forged Rip's name on the adoption papers and didn't tell him she had conceived. Now Rip is being released, and Wendy knows she needs to tell him the truth - but at what cost? Rip, who says he's changed after anger management classes, now wants the two of them to take custody of their son.

The news couldn't be any more devastating for the Campbells. Send their son to strangers? They cannot believe the courts side with the biological parents, but their hands are tied. Jack conceives a plan - what if they take Joey and disappear?

The novel has an intriguing premise. As angry as it makes the reader, one must admit that the scenario and outcome is all too likely given the circumstances. Parents will take the time to explore whether or not they would make the same choice in the same situation; it's definitely a thought provoking one. Molly and Jack are an excellent contrast to Rip and Wendy. Although it appears on the surface to be good couple vs. bad couple, everyone involved has both redeeming and selfish qualities. Both sets of parents do seem to truly love their son and want what's best for him; their ideas on what that is just don't match.

The novel has a very strong Christian worldview and message. The ending is uplifting, yet not quite as believable as the rest of the novel. Discussion questions are included, and Like Dandelion Dust would make an excellent choice for reading groups.

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