Maddie Brees Will Heal Your Hunger for a Powerful Read

A Book Review of Healing Maddie Brees

By Rebecca Brewster Stevenson

It’s a reckoning moment–the day you find a lump. The “C” word, cancer. With addictively grueling detail the narrative pulls us into Maddie’s diagnosis and discovery…but more so a self-discovery. The story flashes back and forth in time, shedding glimpses of Maddie’s first boyfriend, who stumbles upon a suspected gift of healing. Can he heal Maddie now, twenty years and a cancer diagnosis later? Maddie’s husband yearns to find out. But more than her physical healing is the looming question of her emotional scarring. Did she ever really get over her old flame? With poetic prose the author brings the scenes to life, upping the ante of gorgeous, meaningful writing.

Meanwhile, the toll her journey takes on her marriage drags her husband into dark waters that he can’t easily tread. The story unburies her past, erupts her present, and gives hope for a more honest future where pain may leave jagged scars but true healing comes from within. A must-read slowly unraveling tale that you’ll savor until the last word.

Healing Maddie Brees by [Stevenson, Rebecca Brewster]

5 Stars


Maddie Brees has been given bad news: she is seriously ill. But she also has an old friend, an ex-boyfriend who might be able to heal her. She was witness to Vincent Elander’s so-called miracles in the past. But that was a long time ago, a memory that she would rather stay buried. Now she is happily married to Frank and the mother of their three young boys. The religion of her past is behind her, along with any confidence she once had in it. With the onset of her cancer, the memories of Vincent won’t leave Maddie alone, and before long they are affecting everything else: her marriage, her husband, the things they thought they agreed on, and the beliefs they thought they shared. Soon Frank, who was to be Maddie’s rock throughout her treatment, is finding fault-lines of his own. In this exquisitely written narrative, the author explores questions of honesty and commitment, of disease and isolation, and of the many shapes healing takes.

About Rebecca:

Rebecca Brewster Stevenson is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has a master’s degree from Duke University and has lived in Durham, North Carolina for over 20 years with her husband and three children. HEALING MADDIE BREES is her first novel. Before dedicating herself to writing full time, Rebecca worked with Trinity School of Durham to develop the curriculum for the humanities department; she also worked as an English teacher at Cresset Christian Academy in Durham and at South Fayette Jr. Sr. High School in Pittsburgh.

Though HEALING MADDIE BREES is Rebecca’s debut novel, she has been writing for most of her life. Rebecca’s beautifully crafted personal essays on her blog “Small Hours” at have earned her a strong audience of readers who enjoy her explorations of themes relating to family, marriage, faith, healing, writing, language, literature, and film. In her novel HEALING MADDIE BREES, Rebecca asks the question: How do our bodies–in disease, healing, marriage, brokenness–reflect the state of our souls, particularly within the union called marriage?

Rebecca is currently working on her second novel CHURCH AND MAIN. To connect with Rebecca, visit her at

Purchase a copy for yourself where books are sold.

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