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On May 26th, 2016, pastor and author Victor Lee Austin came to the First Things office and sat down with editor R. R. Reno to discuss his book Losing Susan.

This is the story of Susan—a wife, a mother, a Christian believer, a lover of children, a writer of stories, and a woman of extraordinary intellect. Susan was diagnosed with a brain tumor in her late thirties. Although it was successfully treated, the process led to her slow and unending decline throughout the remaining nineteen years of her life. God gave Victor what his heart most desired—marriage to Susan—then God took away what he had given. Yet God never withdrew his presence. Weaving together autobiographical details and profound theological insights, this powerful narrative of suffering and love is told with bracing honesty. It shows that while we cannot tidily make sense of God’s role in suffering, we are called to turn to him in the face of pain and death.

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