From the United States

Timothy Kearney

VINE VOICE

5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Book That will Be Remembered

Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2021

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I have been waiting for “Blindsided” to be published for a while. I regularly visit the website of Paraclete Press and when I first saw the book featured as an upcoming release, I believed it would be worth reading. I knew it would be a sad book since it deals with the aftermath of the death of a young person, and where the book was written by the young person’s father, I expected it to be poignant. What I did not expect was to read something as powerful as the book turned out to be. It’s not the formulaic story of a person coming to terms with the death of a loved one, being angry, going through the grieving process, and moving on with faith. If anything, the author goes to great lengths to show that grieving is anything but predictable and instead invites the reader into his experience of loss. Mark Roser does this through his skills as a writer but also a belief that his story may help others in a similar situation. It is also clear he wants to share the story of his wonderful son Ethan and make sure that Ethan’s story continues to inspire people and hopefully lead that person to Jesus Christ.

“Blindsided” tells the story of a family’s grief, particularly a father’s grief, at the loss of a beloved son and brother. Ethan Roser is a remarkable young man by all accounts. He was a gifted athlete, a good student, had a warm and engaging personality, was dedicated to family and friends. He was also a committed follower of Jesus with a strong relationship with God that united all of the aspects of his life. He was a transfer student at Wheaton College, planning on going into ministry full time, and following a similar path to that of his missionary parents. He was killed in a freak accident while assisting at a track and field event. Roser does an excellent job at portraying Ethan early in the book so when we learn of his death, we get a sense of his loss. Roser then shares his story as a grieving father, trying to manage an array of emotions as well as the challenges that came along with a very public death. Because so much of the book’s power comes from reading about the details, I will not specifically mention them, but Roser shares his emotions with the reader and what we see is Roser’s strong faith that guides but does not give easy answers, a resilience, and the painstaking effort required to put one foot in front of the other after such a devastating loss.

This is not a “how to” book for grieving parents though it does contain suggestions for those dealing with a similar situation. I believe this book will be an excellent choice for a book group to read since it deals with so many issues and could lead to interesting discussions. Since the author is able to write about his range of emotions so well, it is an excellent book choice for anyone who deals with parents experiencing a loss, particularly those in ministry. “Blindsided” may not be the easiest book for all readers, but it is certainly worthwhile.

Victoria Roser

5.0 out of 5 stars You'll find peace

Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2021

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As many of you may remember, my cousin Ethan passed away in what was described as a "freak accident" during a hammer throw at Wheaton College in 2017. His story made national headlines, rightfully, as a promising future dramatically, tragically, and instantly cut short. His father, my Uncle Mark, a well known missionary whose sons have all followed in his footsteps to spread the gospel released "Blindsided: A Journey from Tragic Loss to Triumphant Love" last week. The story is written to explain Ethan's love and trust for God, how he touched thousands of lives, and how his family has used their faith to cope with his loss. If you're grieving the loss of a loved one and need help finding the answer to "why" God could let this happen, this book may bring you comfort and answers. I am not a religious person, unlike most in my family, but I still found comfort and reassurance that Ethan is at peace, wherever he may be, and that my family has found a way to heal after such a horrendous tragedy. The bravery it took to write this and the honesty in these pages is incredible. The raw emotions that came flooding back were extremely intense, but I can't thank Mark enough for making sure Ethan's story was told.

 

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars Gut wrenchingly transparent

Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2021

I loved how Mark is so transparent with his grief. He has been a missionary for years and he not only questions God but is angry. I love his heart to be honest with God...and His people. I have not had to walk in their shoes but his confidence to question God shows a relationship with a Father who brings triumph out of tragedy and inspires me to look for the answers that only the Father holds to our greatest trials. You will not be disappointed in this story.

2 people found this helpful

Jennifer Gandert

5.0 out of 5 stars You are going to cry, especially in the beginning

Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021

Grab a box of tissues before you open this real life tearjerking story. You’ll feel as if you yourself have been blindsided, then rejoice in the beauty of a life that while lost to us on Earth - surely lives on. Walk along with Mark and his family as they learn to live with their grief.

I had already enjoyed reading Mark and Pat’s African Dream book which journaled their life together from becoming newlyweds living as missionaries in Africa to how they maneuvered around all the obstacles they encountered while having and raising their four wonderful children.

I recommend reading African Dream first and then Blindsided, unless you have lost a loved one - then reading Blindsided first may help you find how to navigate through your own complicated emotions and grief.

Lester S.

5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Story and So Helpful

Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2021

This book is OUTSTANDING - a real page turner! The author tells the story in a way that is beneficial on a number of fronts that go well beyond the scope of this book. Very readable, yet deep. It would be very helpful to anyone who has experienced loss or can even serve as a template for those who struggle with "what to say" to those who have lost a loved one. Importantly, this book can provide hope in these difficult times. There are very few books that I keep to read again - This book is one of them.

One person found this helpful

Stan Guthrie

5.0 out of 5 stars A Gut-Wrenching Retelling of Incalculable Loss

Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2021

I told myself that I wouldn't cry when I read Mark Roser's powerful book, Blindsided. But it was a resolution I couldn't keep. Roser's gut-wrenching retelling of his incalculable loss and search for answers hit me like a two-by-four. All of us are grieving something, or will be soon enough. Roser's rough-hewn account of personal tragedy and what comes next will help us process our own griefs and turn, sometimes half against our wills, to the One who beckons us with nail-scarred hands.

Stan Guthrie
Author
Victorious: Corrie ten Boom and The Hiding Place

Debbie Herron

5.0 out of 5 stars If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, read this book.

Reviewed in the United States on March 30, 2021

This touching book is written by a missionary to Africa for 22 years. He and his wife lost their 19 year old son in a freak accident in 2017. Anyone who has endured the tragic loss of a loved one, especially a child, can relate to the grief he expresses in this book. It is human to ask “why” in such cases, and this man of faith did, many times. However this book doesn’t end with his grief. There is peace and comfort as he talks about many things God has done to encourage him and his family. He has wise and practical suggestions in the epilogue that any grieving person can benefit from. I highly recommend this book.

Melanie K Anderson

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfort in time of grief

Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2021

I received this pre-ordered book a few days after my sister-in-law died. I was familiar with the author's story and the tragic death of his son. I just finished reading the book yesterday and I found it to be very helpful.
There is so much loss in our world. Just yesterday there was a tragic accident at our university that took 2 students lives. Mark's transparency In sharing his story will hopefully help many others come to know Jesus.

Shirley C

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!

Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2021