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Reviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers' Favorite
In A Tiny Package Unwrapped by Dave Barkey, Johann and Genevieve Stein leave war-torn Warsaw and move to Burbank, California to start their new lives together. Both grew up and met in Warsaw and, in spite of their totally opposite views on almost everything, they fell in love and married, certain that their love could conquer all. Johann, an engineer, wanted to leave the memories of Auschwitz behind, the memories of losing both his mother and father as well as his faith in God in the camp. In spite of the anger and hatred that Johann still carries inside, everything is going according to his plan until Genevieve becomes pregnant. A family was not part of the plan for now. When Genevieve refuses to abort the child, Johann grows distant. A son, Leland, is born and Genevieve is happy. She and Leland are very close and both endure the anger, abuse and neglect from Johann. When Genevieve and Leland become followers of Christ, this is too much for Johann. He wants no part of Christianity and no part of this family. Genevieve and Leland live a happy life until a sudden illness sends Genevieve to the hospital. Leland struggles with his own feelings about Johann, but makes contact for his mother's sake. Will his estranged father even care, will he have changed at all? Can years of anger and hurt be set aside for the love they both share for the same woman?
I loved this book. Dave Barkey has presented a very moving story about love, loss, anger and accountability. What scarred Johann's heart as a young child has ruled and ruined his life. The inability to forgive has almost destroyed the very blessings that God has given to him. Dave Barkey's use of Scripture throughout this book is precise and spot-on. The multiple messages of love, loss, anger, forgiveness and redemption are well written and defined beautifully. Dave Barkey's characters are interesting and real in a story that reaches out to not only entertain, but to minister God's power and truth through this well written and powerful story.