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Jantsen's Gift: A True Story of Grief, Rescue, and Grace Paperback – August 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446199702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446199704
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For Cope, life in her small Missouri town seemed perfect; she ran a hair salon, enjoyed a happy family life and lived in a beautiful home. Yet, she explains, I have to say, I put on a hell of a performance. For a long time, I even had myself convinced of how good and right everything was in my life. Her ideal was shattered in 1999 when Jantsen, her 15-year-old son, died suddenly from a heart ailment; this moving memoir recounts Cope's transformation and growth after her world collapsed. Her metamorphosis began after she accepted an invitation from a friend to visit Vietnam. Though Cope was wrapped in personal grief following the death of her son, the trip illuminated for her the superficial environment she inhabited. After visiting a local orphanage, Cope found for the first time in her life a sense of wholeness and purpose. Soon she stepped outside her own circumscribed world and began creating better lives for the abused, neglected and at-risk children she encountered, first in Vietnam then in Cambodia and Ghana. This is a wonderful story of a woman whose personal tragedy gave birth to a gift and how she fulfilled that legacy to make the world a better place. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This is a wonderful story of a woman whose personal tragedy gave birth to a gift and how she fulfilled that legacy to make the world a better place."—Publishers Weekly

"The author's charitable, compassionate nature saturates the narrative, giving it a smooth, unrushed flow...a skillfully written account of life after grief."—Kirkus

"A profound reminder of what a difference one person can make in the world."—Washington Post

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I cried a lot reading this book.
Jeremy J. Knutson
Pam Cope's book, Jantsen's Gift, is a beautiful tribute to her son and to her life.
Beth Johnson
I read this book during my summer holiday, and could not put it down.
A. B. Soisson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nelaine Sanchez VINE VOICE on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What an amazing memoir!

When Pam Cope loses her 15 year-old son, Jansten, due to an unknown heart condition, she falls into a very severe depression. Upon invitation from a friend, Pam and her husband Randy, travel to Vietnam to visit an orphanage that this friend has built, and to find a way of coping with her loss/grief. There they fall in love with a Vietnamese child and decide to adopt him. Eventually they adopt another Vietnamese girl - but not before they fall in love with these children and realize that they can use the money that was donated in Jantsen's name after his death for such a worthy cause.

This memoir chronicles Pam and Randy's journey to providing children with food, shelter, education and medical care in Vietnam and Cambodia. And eventually to their work in Ghana where children are sold into slavery or prostitution by their families at a very young age. It details the struggles they go through to obtain these children from their "masters" and their work in building the The Village of Hope Orphanage.

I cried (a lot)... I laughed... I was truly moved and inspired. This is the type of book that makes you rethink your life. It is heart-wrenching to read some snippets of the letters that Pam writes to Jantsen and this book is a touching tribute to him.

To find out more about their foundation - Touch a Life, or to make a donation (I already did), please visit their website at [...] You can also visit their blog at: [...]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anne Rosow on April 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was completely moved by this book. It was a joy to read -- entertaining and funny, thought provoking and poignant. It makes you think differently about everything -- what's important in life and what isn't. And it makes you realize just how much one person can do to affect change. I was enthralled from page one and found myself loving and rooting for Pam Cope all the way through. Most importantly, though, it made me notice my privilege even more clearly and want to help people in need. This is the most powerful byproduct of such a great read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Julie Mazur Tribe on April 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book touches on so many great things -- self-empowerment, transformation, turning tragedy into something beautiful. It also happens to be funny, sad, touching, and you can't put it down! After I finished it, I immediately thought of at least 5 friends to recommend it to -- it's that kind of book. Women (and men) need more of this sort of inspiration! A great read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Todd Decker on May 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pam has shared her story, warts and all. That's why it will be helpful to those in grief.
If you are wallowing in self pity, stressed about stuff that doesn't matter - order now.
My "comfort zone" has been challenged and my worldview expanded.
If you want to learn how to give your life to something that matters - this is a must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Holly VINE VOICE on April 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A deeply moving, true story. Pam Cope seemed to have the perfect life, or rather, she was obsessed with creating the perfect life. That life revolved around her husband and two children and all their activities. But, with her 15 year old sonJantsen's sudden death in 1999, her life changed forever. Pam is very open about how her grief drove her into depression and how she struggled to find meaning in her life. Her candor is refreshing as she recounts that after all the years of attending church looking like the perfect Christian family, she really didn't know God at all. But, as she finally turns toward him, her life begins to change again.

Pam and her husband Randy, started a foundation with money that had been donated in Jantsen's name after his death. Wanting a purpose and a legacy for him, they accept an invitation to travel to Vietnam to inspect an orphanage, with the intent of supporting its work. This trip changes their lives. Pam's perspective changes as she realizes how many at-risk children there are in this world. She and her husband adopted two children and have made it their mission in life to help as many others as they can.

Pam speaks of her experiences establishing homes in Vietnam and Ghana, where children who have been sold into slavery or prostitution can be rescued, sheltered and educated. The level of commitment and service that the Cope family has put into this project is amazing. They are an inspiration to people everywhere, that one or two people can truly make a difference in this world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beth DeLorme on May 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Jantsen's Gift" is one of the best books I've read in years. I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It's inspiring on many different levels. Pam Cope tells the story of the sudden death of her 15-year old son, Jantsen, and the impact the loss had on her life. Before Jantsen's death, she was an average mom in Missouri who ran a hair salon and worried about what clothes to buy and how to decorate her house. Jantsen's death caused her to rethink her entire life and the kind of person she wanted to be. In dealing with their grief, Pam and her husband slowly find a new purpose in life - touching the lives of children overseas, one at a time. Pam shows that one person, with determination and help from friends, can make a difference in the lives of others. The book will cause you to question the value of spending time and money on things that don't really matter, and will challenge you to think about what's really important in life. I'm lucky enough to have an autographed copy of the book. The phrase Pam jotted in my book perfectly summarizes what it's about: "Find Your Mark." A must read.
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