Unexpected: Grit, Grace and Life In Between {Book Review}

At the young age of twenty-three, Trina Pockett found herself pregnant and diagnosed with cancer that required immediate treatment, but that’s not the beginning of her story or the end.

“Having cancer as a young mother is not the entirety of my story, it’s only a small part of my journey.” (2)

I didn’t know any of this when I met Trina for the first time last month.

Fresh off a cross-country flight and a week of traveling Trina Pockett was determined to make one night of the Northern California Redbud Writers retreat. Nearing midnight, she waltzed into the cabin, her carefree laugh paving the way before. Humility, grace, compassion and warmth sparkled like a disco ball. In an instant, she felt like a friend of old and that’s exactly how I felt while reading her book Unexpected: Grit, Grace and Life In Between.

Trina’s book, arrived just before my dad died and sat on my to-do shelf, but the Sovereign had perfect timing for my heart to engage her profound story best summarized by her words, “Cured but forever changed”. Don’t we all need a cure for pride, comparison, physical problems…!

I was uncertain what to expect when I picked up her book but was excited to peel back the pages and dive in. I figured if the book brought out half of who Pockett is in real life it book would be a fantastic read. It did not disappoint!


What I loved about the book…

Many books I read are heavy. The words used and the subject matter are often tedious and burdensome to both the head and heart. Pockett’s fight for life is clearly nothing to be taken lightly, but she gives her story incrementally, providing stepping stone anecdotes. These provide a reprieve from the difficult nature of her cancer story as well as waypoints for how God was shaping her heart. I found this made it easier to contemplate the many truths God revealed through her experiences and suffering. She wove Her softly woven story could at any moment produce blurry tear-filled eyes or a body shaking in laughter that would interfere with reading.

Written in such a friendly tone I felt like I was listening to a close friend. Shutting the book felt like ending the call in the middle of a conversation and I didn’t want to put it down because I didn’t want to miss anything!


Although Pockett’s story has extreme dichotomies (most women won’t face pregnancy and cancer at the same time) every soul faces experiences that challenge our resolve and determination. An underlying thread strings relatable experiences and themes adults spend a lifetime untangling (friendship, community, belonging, acceptance). Readers are fortunate to have a transparent look at how God will comfort, shape and mold a heart.

In a self-absorbed culture, Pockett delivers a message addressing our deficiency to extend beyond ourselves. Healing doesn’t ever end, and Pockett encourages readers to use the elements God has given them to influence the world around them. She challenges the reader to take stock and use the abilities and perspective God has given for a higher purpose. -We talk ourselves (3)


This book was a delight to read and God continues to bring me back to the themes presented in her book: Humility, community, redemption, charity and the story God wants to write through our individual choice to live faithfully to our calling. If you’re looking for a refreshing read, renewed perspective on life and calling or a glimpse into battling cancer this book will fill your cup and more!

Get your copy HERE and enter to win a copy for a friend below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo Credits:
Blue sky crate myrtle: ♦ Peter & Ute Grahlmann ♦ / Foter.com / CC BY-NC
Rainbow Finch: Photo credit: C. P. Ewing / Foter.com / CC BY
Grass with dew drop: Photo credit: ecstaticist / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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