Reviewed by Rel Mollet
Just Beyond the Clouds by
"Kingsbury writes with insight and incredible sensitivity ... if you only read one Kingsbury book this year, choose Just Beyond the Clouds."
Grieving bull rider Cody Gunner from A Thousand Tomorrows holds on tightly to his wife's memory, preventing him from moving beyond his sorrow to embrace the future he now despises without his precious Ali.
Carl Joseph loves his brother, Cody, with all the exuberance and joy in his heart. No one else holds a candle to him---until he meets Daisy at the Independent Living Centre. She’s a young woman who, like him, loves dancing, dreams of going to Disneyland and was born with Downs Syndrome.
Carl Joseph's teacher, Elle Dalton, wants nothing more than to develop independence in her students and strives daily to teach them all they need to know to reach Goal Day ~ the day they can move out on their own, living independently.
When Cody hears of Carl Joseph's desire to live away from home he is angered beyond belief, fearful that Carl Joseph's health will be compromised and he will lose another person he loves more than life itself. Cody has Elle Dalton in his sights, not because of her beauty and kindness but because she is the woman Cody believes will destroy his little brother with hopes and ideas that will never be fulfilled.
Just Beyond the Clouds moved me to tears with its beautiful portrayal of the love between two brothers and the beauty of the human spirit. Cody's struggle to move beyond the searing grief and anger which overwhelms him, and Carl Joseph's tenacious fight to overcome countless obstacles to pursue a goal he might not achieve, provided moments of deep compassion and utter triumph. Karen Kingsbury writes with insight and incredible sensitivity, evoking an immediate heartfelt response to each characters' plight.
Cody and Elle have great depth due to the hand life has dealt them, but Daisy and Carl Joseph are the heart and soul of this story. We are given a glimpse into the lives of adults with Downs Syndrome and the dilemmas they and their families face in their desire to live independently with dignity and self reliance. The faith element in this book is stronger than in A Thousand Tomorrows yet melds effortlessly with the characters' journey. I am delighted to say that this book epitomizes Karen at her best with a unique and compelling storyline and characters you yearn to know ~ if you only read one Kingsbury book this year, choose Just Beyond the Clouds.
Rel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".