Patrick Thyne
The Awful Grace of God
Book Review by Author Ross Anthony

Recommended by a valued friend as one of the books that had a profound effect on her life, I purchased and dove into The Awful Grace of God.

The target audience seems to be those who have recently lost a loved one. The personal, profound and insightful moments are those when the author shares inconceivable grief for losing his son. That said, the book meanders into an autobiographical memoir, a reflection on the author's life. He can spend a great deal of time on details (what food was brought by whom for Thanksgiving Day for example). I read in search of insight on the soul-strained struggle between loss and faith. While Thyne does weave this painful search into the narrative, and thus offers us insight, and solidarity for those in a similar struggle, significant portions of the book seem to be nostalgia/therapy for him, perhaps precious more time to spend with stories of his son and family in general.

That said, in the third or so of the book that does delve into the painful depths of reckoning grief and loss with faith, here are some of my favorite passages:

I was no longer connected to the God who intervenes to save us from harm... God does not rescue us from the mess and crush of life. Ever. Whatever else it means to have faith in Jesus and trust in the God Jesus trusted in, it means for certain that you get no way out of the human story.

I think Jesse's death got into both of us real deep. In me, it's layered like a slab of fatty tissue under my rib cage. It's why I still talk about it like I'm breathing with one lung.

There is no safety, for us or for the loved ones for whom we pray.

Like a dream that fades to inaccessibility moments after waking, this faith that once was my heart's home eluded me. ... But I also knew, as I slide toward sleep again, that the faith I would wind up with would not be the faith I'd lived with for over fifty years.

I had given up a belief in some glorified sense of myself and lived now, as clearly as I could, as faithfully as I could, from the inside out, letting what I believed was true about me express itself in my life with others.

Related: The Documentary film, "The Death of Two Sons: The Story of Amadou Diallo & Jesse Thyne."

Read more Book Reviews by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony.

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 29-Nov-2021 21:00:02 PST