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The Opposite of Certainty

Fear, Faith, and Life in Between
Narrated by: Ginny Welsch
Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins

Non-member price: $33.37

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Publisher's Summary

"Brilliant, rich...breathtakingly honest and sometimes very funny." (Anne Lamott)

"I loved this book." (Glennon Doyle)

"Extraordinary." (Caroline Leavitt)

"Observant and warm...the finest company." (Kelly Corrigan)

"A beautiful sucker punch, like life." (Ron Fournier)

"Subtle, powerful, and hypnotic..." (Martin Cruz Smith)

What happens when we can no longer pretend that the ground underfoot is bedrock and the sky above predictable?

All Janine Urbaniak Reid ever wanted was for everyone she loved to be okay so she might relax and maybe be happy. Her life strategy was simple: do everything right. This included trying to be the perfect mother to her three kids so they would never experience the kind of pain she pretended not to feel growing up. What she didn’t expect was the chaos of an out-of-control life that begins when her young son’s hand begins to shake.

The Opposite of Certainty is the story of Janine’s reluctant journey beyond easy answers and platitudes. She searches for a source of strength bigger than her circumstances, only to have her circumstances become even thornier with her own crisis. Drawn deeply and against her will into herself, and into the eternal questions we all ask, she discovers hidden reserves of strength, humor, and a no-matter-what faith that looks nothing like she thought it would.

Beautifully written and deeply hopeful, Janine shows us how we can come through impossible times transformed and yet more ourselves than we’ve ever allowed ourselves to be. 

"No parent wants to hear the words 'your child has a tumor.' In this audiobook, narrator Ginny Welsch captures the frustration, fear, and disbelief of a woman struggling to care for her child who has brain cancer while also struggling to keep her family, herself, and her faith together. Even though Welsch is sharing the powerful words of another woman, her emotional performance makes this audiobook truly personal for the listener. She captures its raw honesty." (Audiofile Magazine)

©2020 Janine Reid (P)2020 Thomas Nelson

Critic Reviews

"A beautiful sucker punch, like life. When the ground crumbles beneath your hopes, big dreams, and great expectations, what do you stand on and for? Where do you find the strength to keep going? You find it in this gem of a book." (Ron Fournier, New York Times best-selling author of Love that Boy)

"Somedays it's doughnuts and hot coffee. Other days it's gurneys and scans. That's true of almost every full life. Here's the good news: observant and warm, the writing of Janine Urbaniak Reid is the finest company on both kinds of days." (Kelly Corrigan, New York Times best-selling author of Tell Me More and The Middle Place)

"Full of spiritual grace and shining with a kind of rare hope, yes, it brings you to your knees but miraculously shows you that this might actually be the best vantage point to see the stars. Extraordinary." (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author of Pictures of You and Cruel Beautiful World)

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  • C. H. Gailey
  • 20-05-2020

An Honest Account of a Journey Through Loss

The only reason I could not give this audio book 5 stars is because the narrator mispronounces words, and places stress on the wrong words in a sentence, a little too often for my perfectionist and medically-trained brain. Also, although Anne Lamott wrote the forward, she did not narrate it, so this seemed like false advertising. I plan on buying the hard copy of this book however, because it has been such a gift to me, and I would definitely give the written version 5 stars across the board! I am currently nearing the close of the first year of my own son's recovery from a severe brain injury. Though his age, and the causes of his injury, are quite different from those of the author's son, still I found the journey of this mother and son (and the rest of the family) to very closely mirror mine. The author accurately describes both the external and internal experience of an unthinkable "change of plans" and the unplanned journey that ensues--one that brings both unbearable loss of control and unfathomable joy. I have felt validation, kinship, and hope as I've read this account, and will probably reread it again and again.

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