Reading, Wild in the Hollow by Amber Haines was a roller coaster experience. The book begins with Amber’s idyllic childhood but is followed by her troubled adolescence, which is surprising. Children don’t generally form unhealthy relationships when they grow up in a stable home, which made me question her idyllic childhood. Her only explanation was she attended a very legalistic church.

Amber has a dramatic conversion experience and soon after meets Seth who she quickly marries. She comes into the marriage with a lot of emotional baggage which causes many difficulties. Seth changes careers, they move several times and have four children. During this time, they learn more about themselves, church communities and God.

Amber then discusses the health issues of their fourth child, Titus. This takes several chapters as he is unwell for many months. It was at this point in the book that I suddenly realised I had read about Titus before in Seth’s memoir, Coming Clean. This was a traumatic time in both of their lives, that stretches their faith. I’m glad I’d read Seth’s book because, in the Afterword, he explains that while Titus is still very thin, they have found a partial solution to his health issues. Amber moves on without explaining this.

The book concludes with Amber having come to terms with many things from her past and being at peace with God and her situation in life.

Amber writes in a lyrical way which I found hard to relate to. She studied poetry at a tertiary level which seems to have influenced her writing style. Nevertheless, she does share some interesting insights.

Overall an interesting read.