All But Normal Life on Victory Road was both an enjoyable, difficult and enlightening read. Enjoyable because Shawn Thornton and Joel Kilpatrick have put real life situations into an engaging format; difficult because it brought back memories of childhood experiences of a father who struggled with depression; enlightening because, by the end of the book, the reader sees a fuller picture. Life is like a puzzle; you have to look back over the years to see the big picture of how God's hand worked in ways you didn't fully realize.
Shawn Thornton's mother, Beverly, was in a car crash that forever changed her life and the lives of those around her. She was left with brain damage that changed her once-gentle personality battling with waves of violent and uncontrollable bursts of rage. Amidst the chaos and frustrations, Beverly still loved God and had a strong desire to reach out to others; she wanted to share in their struggles and be a shoulder to lean on.
Shawn shares his memoir with others as a way of encouraging those with similar struggles and his book sheds light on a topic rarely discussed: mental illness. The main focus of his book demonstrates that even in the most turbulent lives, God is there. In spite of our human weaknesses, sins and flaws, the capacity for God's availability and work in individuals' lives is unlimited.