The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 18, 2014

Book offers hope to those in turmoil

WESTVILLE — To anyone who has suffered emotional turmoil, Sarah Cummings has some words of encouragement in her book, “From Within the Shadows.”

“Your dreams will come true. You just need to stick it out until the end,” the first-time author said. “I’ve been through my own struggles, so I know how it feels. I’ve been in a whirlwind of my own.”

But, she said, “At the end of the day, God’s grace makes it better.”

Cummings, 26, of Westville will sign copies of the book from 1-5 p.m. Saturday at Book World in the Village Mall.

She attended Westville High School and graduated from Danville Christian Academy in 2007. Her biggest supporters are her parents, Starla and Michael Cummings of Westville, and brother, Adam. She also has a 3-year-old daughter, Ellie.

“From Within the Shadows” is about a girl who endures years of verbal and physical abuse from her alcoholic mother. Eventually, she escapes and finds her estranged father, who helps her discover who she is. Along the roller-coaster journey, she becomes an empowered young woman with inner strength to overcome her problems.

The book has some dark parts, but they’re interspersed with the good, hopeful parts. For example, the book shows the mother’s struggles to raise a child while dealing with being a manic-depressive, but in the end, she has a redeeming moment.

“It’s a constant back and forth of dark and good,” Cummings said. “The dark parts make it relatable to people’s situations.”

Cummings is happy with the book’s cover — showing various emotions on a person’s face. “It depicts everything in my book,” she said. “It depicts all the main character’s emotions, that she’s being pulled in every direction.”

Starla Cummings, who has read the book several times, agreed, saying, “It’s a roller coaster of emotion. It’s very intense.”

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