Cartwheels in the Rain.

Author:Millard, Elizabeth
Position:Book review

Joseph Dubowski (author); CARTWHEELS IN THE RAIN; Discipleship Publications International (Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir) $14.00 ISBN: 9781577822585

Byline: Elizabeth Millard

In February 2008, Joseph and Laurel Dubowski lost their twenty-year-old daughter, Gayle, when a gunman on the campus of Northern Illinois University went on a rampage inside a classroom. In one of his recollections of Gayle, her father recalls that she used to love the rain so much that she'd do cartwheels in a downpour.

That type of exuberance is what the family chose to remember, not her tragic end, and first-time author Joseph Dubowski draws on that quality to fuel this touching book about finding a way through grief. The story is about more than surviving and living with loss, he notes, and about more than the impact of "one brief, humble life on a family and the world." It's a lively manifesto about holding onto faith, working through pain, and finding inspiration even when an emotional storm threatens to wash everything away.

Dubowski begins the book with a harrowing account of the shooting and the hours after it took place, while he and other family members were waiting for news. After his daughter's death was confirmed, he remembers thinking about the twenty years that he had with Gayle, from her first moments as a baby to her sweetness as a child. He offers numerous details about her personality, both as a celebration of her life and a way to pay homage to an...

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