After a tragic accident claims the love of his life, Katie, Professor Franklin Franklyn blames himself. Consumed by grief, he pushes away anyone and everyone and lingers in his self-imposed isolation. But soon after the second anniversary of his wife’s death, his reclusive lifestyle is interrupted by an unplanned visit from his 8-year-old granddaughter, Maggie, and she’s about to teach him a thing or two about the healing power of faith.
Awakened by Grace is the latest book by Christian author Darlene West. Through sharing Franklin’s heartbreaking story, she convincingly explores deeper themes of guilt and self-condemnation. West used her own journey through unspeakable tragedy to inform her compelling, relatable narrative.
“Chronic grief is something I’m all-too-well familiar with,” West said. “I lost my first son to SIDS. At the time, I had Jesus only in my head, not in my heart. I was in shock for three weeks. When people talked to me, it was like echoes bouncing off my ears.”
In Awakened by Grace, the character of Franklin is a total nonbeliever; there is no room for Christianity in his life. With Maggie’s arrival comes a gradual awakening, as Maggie’s faith-filled answered prayers manifest before Franklin’s eyes. The two experience God-led divine appointments and Maggie encourages new people to become part of Franklin’s life. In spite of everything that Franklin witnesses, however, he finds it difficult to let go of his guilt and move on without his wife. Will Franklin remain buried under the weight of his guilt, or will the power of faith lift him up?
Author Darlene West is a retired corporate developer, program designer, and curriculum specialist. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in adult education. Her hobbies include fishing, biking, camping, and creating recipes. And she loves being a wife, mother, and granny.
You can also watch the video of the interview with the author Darlene West.