Book Review: Breakthrough: The Miraculous True Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection #BookReview #Christian #Breakthrough #TrueStories

Breakthrough: The Miraculous True Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection

By Joyce Smith

(Previously published as The Impossible)

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My thoughts:

Talk about a page-turner! This true story is one that had me from beginning to end. My review will likely contain a few spoilers.

In 2015, on a cold winter day, Joyce Smith’s fourteen-year-old son was visiting with friends and was involved in an accident that resulted in death. After being rushed to the hospital with no response, the doctors were ready to give up. It had been nearly an hour and likely impossible that John’s body could live after such a catastrophic accident. The events that transpire afterward are nothing short of a miracle.

John was such a lucky boy with a strong support system, not just from family, but from his church and community as well. There’s a lot of positivity surrounding him, especially from his mother Joyce. I admired Joyce’s strength as she never seemed to lose faith (despite all the negativity), even when some people around her were breaking. Many would agree: It does appear that because of God’s miraculous abilities to heal, her son is alive and well today. Was it all the power of prayer? Did God really heal John? The doctors can’t explain it, and he wasn’t the only one to experience a miracle those few weeks in 2015.

This was actually recommended to me by my local librarian who also ordered the movie which releases on DVD this week. I was compelled to read the book because it seemed like it might involve a near death experience, which is a subject I enjoy studying. This was different from my expectations, but the story still had me captivated. I thought it was written really well too.

I found some parts in the story hard to read when it came to their struggles with some of the more difficult and controlling members of the medical community. After having some of these same problems when my daughter was in a teaching hospital, this book reminded me just how arduous those obstacles were. I also found myself asking the same questions others asked in the end: Why does God answer some prayers and not others? Was John just lucky? You’ll have to read it to see what you think.

This book is the media tie in edition which includes pictures from the movie, but also real pictures of Joyce and her family as well. There are many Bible verses throughout which I enjoyed studying. Even if you aren’t a Christian, the story is one to read, and it may open your eyes. I highly recommend it.


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords; Media Tie In edition (March 12, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1546010602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1546010609

I’m really looking forward to watching the movie. Here’s the movie trailer if you haven’t seen it yet.

Movie Trailer:

Thanks for reading my review. Have you read this book? Let’s chat in the comments section!


13 thoughts on “Book Review: Breakthrough: The Miraculous True Story of a Mother’s Faith and Her Child’s Resurrection #BookReview #Christian #Breakthrough #TrueStories

  1. The book and movie sound like something I should read and see! Great review, Mischenko!

    In my life, I’ve lost several family members to cancer (my brother-in-law was young, with an 8 year-old child). However, my Mom and sister are cancer survivors.

    The issue of “why do bad things happen to good people” is always difficult.

    So here’s how I process it. It seems John (in your review) received a miracle and that is beyond awesome!!! (Great doctors also do miraculous things.) The problem for me is that our culture supports the idea that anything less than healing, than life on Earth, is not a miracle (that’s my take, of course). But if someone has a terminal disease or life threatening injuries, why can’t death be a miracle, too? Especially if we believe in Heaven or an afterlife (most religions believe in afterlife). Passing over is actually victory over the disease or injury, which is a miracle in my mind. I think the difficulty is with us, the living, because we desperately miss our loved ones. I think if culture also recognized death (from pain and suffering) as a miracle, the living would feel more comfort. Just my thoughts! That’s how I cope anyway!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Julia, that’s exactly how I feel too, but I still have a hard time processing it. It’s hard to accept I think because like you say, we naturally want to stay with our loved ones here on Earth, but the ultimate goal is to get to heaven and live eternally with God. A lack of belief in that is what holds people back I suppose. I’m not going to lie; it’s difficult for me too, and I wouldn’t want to leave my kids.

      Recently, a son from our church passed away, and his mother passed away two weeks later. Some say it’s because she couldn’t deal with her son’s death. People from our church said “Praise God” and “Hallelujah” because she wasn’t suffering anymore. I still have a hard time saying those things when someone dies.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your family. I’ve lost so many family members to cancer as well as it seems to run in my family. You are right, death is a total victory over disease and to not have to suffer anymore is always a positive.

      Hugs ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful review Jenn. I will definitely have to look for this book, it sounds like something I would love. I read the comment from Julia above and agree. Here is my take on this subject. When my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I was devastated. Without my faith, I don’t think I would have made it without having a breakdown. I truly believe God answers all prayers, they just aren’t always the answers we want. I prayed, yes for healing, but also that if it was God’s will to take my husband to be in a better place that he do it quickly, without a lot of pain. Pancreatic cancer is extremely painful in the end. He lived for only 5 months after being diagnosed. He actually died from lung failure caused by complications of chemotherapy, but he died without a lot of pain. As I type this I am crying, as I still do often, but the tears are not for him, they are for me. Sorry for rambling, but this post really hit me. I am so happy when there is healing for someone, but as you Julia said, moving on is also a miracle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your story, Carla. I’m always sorry to hear about your husband’s illness and your loss. It breaks my heart, and if it were to happen to my husband, I don’t know how I could handle it. Even with all my children, I can’t imagine life without him. You’re a very strong woman.

      I know that pancreatic cancer can be very painful and also so unpredictable and fast. I can’t imagine how difficult that was for all of you. I had a friend who’s husband got it in his 40s (9 years ago) and he was gone just a few months after diagnosis. I was so shocked and still think about it today. He wasn’t even having any symptoms until diagnosis.

      I have to agree with you too-about the answering of prayers. This is one of my favorite verses:

      Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. –Romans 12:2

      God obviously knows what we need, but His will isn’t always understood. This is something I still struggle with. People would say that God doesn’t answer prayers if John wouldn’t have survived in the story. Others would say that he did.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Had my husband gotten cancer in his 40s, I do not think I would have reacted the same. My faith was in a very different place. That is an amazing verse, but very difficult for many people to understand. I need to read this book even more now.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. starjustin

    Just watched the movie and loved it. I think the verse you included here says it all if we have strong, unwavering trust and faith in God just as Joyce did. Great post and I plan to read the book now. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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