Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Other Side of Suffering by John Ramsey

John Ramsey knows why you know his name. On December 26, 1996, his daughter JonBenet was reported kidnapped from her bed; she was later found murdered in their basement. While John and his family lived in a world of grief, they also lived under the shadow of suspicion by the Boulder Police Department. The police thought that John and his wife Patsy were the most likely suspects, and tabloids soon published all kinds of outlandish stories naming John and his family as the guilty parties. Over a decade later, John and Patsy were finally cleared of all suspicion in a formal announcement where it was revealed that there had never been any evidence that connected them to the crime. How could a family stand it? How could John Ramsey deal with so much tragedy in his life and come through to the other side of suffering? This is his story of how his life changed and shattered and how his faith in God helped him to put the pieces back together.

I was twelve at the time of Christmas 1996, so I have very strong memories of the Ramsey murder case. I remember the way that the media tore into the story; I remember the images splashed all over televisions and tabloids. This book, while about John Ramsey's journey of suffering and healing, starts out with and spends a fair amount of time on the loss of his youngest daughter. There are details that I knew along with things that I had known at the time but forgotten (such as John losing his oldest daughter in an accident only years before) and things that I never knew about the family (like how they never went back into their Boulder home after leaving it after the murder was discovered). The book talks a lot about John's religious faith and how it has provided comfort and guidance to him over the last two decades. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he frequently goes to the book of Job, but it's clear that his faith is something that is very deeply a part of his identity. This will be a book that will be of interest to readers of true crime as well as people looking for spiritual guidance through tough times.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of FaithWords.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
The Death of Innocence by John and Patsy Ramsay
JonBenet: Inside the Murder Investigation by Steve Thomas with Don Davis
Madeleine by Kate McCann

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