I first got to know Matt, the author, through the "International Online Book Club of Clean Reads." I was so inspired by Matt and how he was always so upbeat and always encouraging and promoting other authors. At the same time, Matt was also tirelessly promoting his book My Emily on the blogosphere, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. I started to read a few interviews and guest posts that Matt gave on My Emily, and couldn't believe I was weeping over a guest post on a blog I had happened to stumble upon. Matt's passion just shone through that much on everything he did regarding what he viewed as his calling in life at that time--to get his little book into as many hands as possible and share Emily's story with as many people as possible. I knew I had to know more about the story of My Emily!
Don't be fooled--this little book packs a big punch. My Emily is the story of Matt's firstborn daughter, Emily. Emily's life is told from Matt's point of view. Matt shares on one of his blog entries part of this story. He tells of how excited he was to find out he was having his first child. The doctor then told him she was born with Down Syndrome. Matt talks about how he did not even know what Down Syndrome was at the time. My heart broke along with his and his wife's as I read that paragraph. THEN, I read on and came to find out that Emily is later also diagnosed with leukemia. My heart dropped! I can not imagine!
But Matt's attitude is so refreshing in today's society in the way he views his Emily. He loves her so completely. That blesses me so much. I love what he said soon after he found out that Emily was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, "I wanted a boy, but now I had a girl--a girl with a disability. Did I feel cheated? Heck no...I didn't understand people's reactions...Whatever the case, my little angels had such a tight grip on my heart. All I could do was think of them. Forget about going out for a night on the town for two years. I could not wait to get home to see my girls and tuck them in" (298). Matt saw Emily as perfect, just the way His Creator did.
The rest of the story tells of Emily's struggle with these two diseases. Matt writes the story just as if he were sitting down with the reader. He does not try to bog one down with any confusing medical terminology. He just tells things as they are. He gives his raw, but oh-so-real emotions, laying bare his heart to the reader. I think that's why so many people love "My Emily" and can relate to it. He also breaks up the weighty subject matter with a great sense of humor. Between the tears, I found myself laughing out loud at Matt's quirkiness.
Most of all, Matt's message of faith is touching and not preachy. It is just him sharing his beliefs about God's purpose, perfection, and living each day to the fullest. These are things he came to terms with as he lived them out. They are lessons we can all learn from as well. I was especially touched by the quote he shared from Rick Warren, "You never know God is all you need until God is all you've got." Thank you Matt for sharing Emily's life with us and letting it continue to bless others!
I give this book 5 stars! It is a clean read.
To find out more about Matt Patterson and his book visit his website.
I want to thank Matt Patterson for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.