Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review: Insight by Diana Greenwood

Book Description:

ARC, 224 pages
April 12, 2011, Zondervan

Some secrets won't let you go. Elvira Witsil lives about as far away from civilization as you can get, in a remote corner of Wisconsin where nothing much ever happens. In a house crowded with her mother, her cantankerous grandmother, and her little sister, Jessie, Elvira feels forgotten and alone. Their house also contains numerous secrets, and Elvira's family holds their secrets closely. Secrets about the father that Jessie never knew, and that Elvira can't forget. Secrets about that day five years ago. And the one secret that Elvira can't quite understand: that Jessie sees things no one else can see. These secrets will lead Elvira and her family on a journey far away from home---on a journey toward redemption and healing---if she can just bring herself to believe.

Source: Zondervan & Sara (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Elvira’s family was poor and far from perfect. Her mother always seemed to be angry, noticing her every wrong move and only noticing her when she could be useful. Her grandmother was always criticizing her mother or her father. Her little sister, Jessie, was sweet, lovely but also strange. Jessie spoke rarely and when she did, they were words that a child would not think of saying. In their house, she felt unnoticed – only noticed when people need her help with household chores. There was so much tension in their house, born from the mistakes of her mother and the drinking of her father.

The bonds of the family were quite worn and fragile but somehow, they made it through the years. Their grandmother stuck with their mother. There was love but it was shown in a different way. Underneath the criticizing, the nagging and the fighting, it was there. Elvira never felt that she was loved by her mother. They were not close. With Jessie around, she lost all chances of gaining attention. The only person who loved her was her father but he was gone, reported to be missing in action during the war. I was touched with how Elvira loved her father despite his imperfection. He could not hold a job for more than a few weeks. He was usually drunk. He got into fights and landed in jail a couple of times. He was nowhere near the ideal father but he loved her and he made sure that he showed that to her.

Jessie was a Seer, having words for the right moment and the right people. It was a difficult life to bear the knowledge of the past, present and future that would become her secrets and warnings to the people around her.

Beautifully written, Insight was able to captivate me. The guilt, the sadness, the pain, the anger in every page was so strong and overwhelming. I felt for Elvira. She was an atheist belonging to a messed up family with a cute little Seer who was mysterious and confusing. As she and her family journeyed away from their home, they were getting closer to the surface of the truth. But with all the secrets and the lies, would they be able to finally see it and leave behind all the negativity wrapped around them?

Insight is an unforgettable debut about hope, forgiveness redemption, love and family, wonderfully written that the words alone would mesmerize readers. Shocking and heart-shattering, this was the next strongest novel to Forbidden. Although some of the things were predictable, I often found myself shocked with the revelations. There was also a hint of romance near the end – refreshingly sweet and innocent. I wish there was more! I recommend this to people who like novels about emotional struggles, family and insight and to believers.



  1. You know how to sell a book, Precious! Wow, Insight sounds like an incredible emotional rollercoaster. I really enjoy these novel that dig deep and explore the emotional bonds and no, they're not always perfect, but the hardships are what make them so interesting, I think. I'm really interested in reading this - fantastic review!

  2. FORBIDDEN?? ACK. The book broke my heart to pieces and saying that this is 'the next strongest novel to Forbidden' is just... I don't know. But anyway, I think I'll skip this one. Forbidden still depresses me every time I think about it.