Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: The Gift of Love

The Gift of Love
By Amy Clipston
Zondervan, 2014


Their odds were 100,000 to one.
Her faith was 1 in a million.

In The Gift of Love, bestselling fiction author Amy Clipston shares her story of almost losing the love of her life to kidney disease and the ultimate sacrifice that kept their family together. An ordinary woman who cherishes family above all else, Amy was challenged in every way---from her strength of character to the depths of her faith to the close-knit family that surrounds her. Enduring the good, the bad, and the really bad, she was determined to help her husband once again be the husband and father their family needed.

Amy's story will give hope and encouragement to anyone who finds themselves waiting on God. Staring down adversity, Amy and her family received the most important gift of all, the gift of love. And regardless of your situation, this gift can be yours too.

An inspirational story of strength and determination, The Gift of Love is the triumph of one woman's faith against all odds, and a soul-filling reminder that no matter how hard life gets, it is worth fighting for.

My thoughts

The Gift of Love is an honest, inspirational, and often raw look at Amy’s life - growing up and meeting Joe, struggling to get her writing career established, participating in the paired kidney exchange program, and becoming an advocate for blood and organ donation. To put it simply, Amy’s memoir touched me and I enjoyed my time spent in reading it.

The Gift of Love opens with Amy frantically calling Joe after surviving a near fatal car/tractor trailer crash. Amy writes of the certainty that “one of the reasons I walked away from it all was so I could donate a kidney for my husband three years later. God needed my kidneys and He kept them safe.”

Not long after what would have been a “happily ever after” marriage in fiction, Joe was diagnosed with a life-threatening kidney disease, heaping unimaginable pressure onto this young couple. Amy writes that “while most newlyweds dealt with the simple adjustments of learning how to live with someone, our relationship was being forged in the fire of illness.” Forged in fire and made all the stronger because of it.

As I read, it was easy to picture Amy sitting down to write in her journal, openly expressing her joys, frustrations and struggles alike. I enjoy the work of many authors, but rarely do I get a real glimpse into their heart – and that glimpse through this book of Amy as mom, caregiver, and fulltime employee has made Amy’s fiction ever more meaningful.

This is a story that everyone can easily relate to, for while our trials and struggles will look different from Amy’s, our paths will look the same – sometimes smooth and straight, but often rough, filled with potholes, unexpected twists and turns. Trust in a God who cares will come effortlessly at times, but if we’re honest, there will be moments where we question everything we know in our hearts to be true.

The Gift of Love is heartwarming and inspirational – but above all, it reveals a strength and determination that comes from a steadfast faith in God. It is also Amy’s desire to highlight the importance of blood and organ donation through this memoir, and I pray that readers will be touched and challenged to give of themselves as God leads.

I recommend this story to all readers, but it would be especially meaningful to someone facing kidney disease or the need for a transplant. Meanwhile, Amy’s story is still being written . . .


Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.

Connect with Amy online at, Facebook, and Twitter.

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