Another Dawn by Cathryn Cushman

Genre: Christian Fiction Pages: 314
Published: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Free review copy from Publisher


From Goodreads: Grace Graham is back in Tennessee with her four-year-old son on a short unpaid leave from work, helping her father recover from surgery and spending time with her sister. Shoal Creek seems more backward than ever after her years in California, and it’s hard to find organic food anywhere.

When the unthinkable happens and her son is diagnosed with measles, Grace’s fears over modern medicine take a dangerous turn. Worse, the town has fallen into quarantine and its residents focus their anger and blame on Grace. She is alone and scared, until one brave woman chooses to reach out a hand of forgiveness and mercy. But when the outbreak takes a life-threatening turn, will Grace be able to forgive herself?

My Thoughts: In Another Dawn, Cushman deals with a very controversial subject – childhood vaccines. Many parents struggle with the decision of whether or not to vaccinate and most have very strong opinions about the safety of vaccinations. Some of these opinions are based on medical evidence others are based on real life experience and situational evidence but regardless of how the opinion is formed they are deeply personal. I really loved that this book brought another argument to the vaccination-debate table because you often see the negatives of having vaccinations presented in novels, as opposed to the negatives of not having the vaccination.

This vaccination debate is used in Another Dawn as a way to help Grace come to terms with her own anger and resentment about how the choices made by various people in her life had affected her. I found it interesting to see this theme of your choices influencing the lives of others carrying through the novel and it really made me think. There are so many examples of how there are two sides to every story and Cushman writes quite a bit about having faith and compassion towards your friends, family, and neighbors, and most of all faith in God.

This book was really just OK for me. It was an intriguing concept that I could identify with as a mother of small children and I liked where Cushman was going with the story but it all tied up a little to neatly with a pretty bow at the end. There was not a single question left unanswered. I’m not saying that I prefer a book that feels unresolved, but when there is a little left to my interpretation, when a book leaves me wondering just a bit it stays with me longer (ie . What happened to this character, where did she go, what did she decide to do? Etc.). I was also frustrated with the voice that Cushman gave to Dylan. There is no way that a 4-year-old by would have reacted the way Cushman described to the situation he was in. Dylan sounded more like an 8 or 9 year old child, he was far too articulate, intuitive and emotionally mature for his character to really be believable and resonate with me.

That being said, Another Dawn was a sweet story and had a tall order trying to tackle a subject like this. I did enjoy the story for the most part and found it to be a nice, quick read that I devoured over the course of the weekend.

I give Another Dawn 3 Hands and Home stamps of approval!