The Author Reads – Book Review of ‘Sanctuary,’ by Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory

Patrick Barrett grew up on the back of a donkey. In the small village of Liscarroll, the young boy helped his family run a sanctuary for abandoned and abused donkeys.

Struggling in school, Patrick only felt truly accepted in the presence of these funny, fuzzy, touching animals. It was like magic, how he and the donkeys understood each other. He became a true “donkey whisperer”—reading their body language, communicating with them in ways they could understand, and teaching himself how to “speak” in their distinctive calls.

But when Patrick was of age, he shipped out with the Irish Army and encountered unimaginable wartime horrors in Lebanon and Kosovo. In the aftermath, he returned home a broken man, sinking into the depths of PTSD and addictions. He believed nothing could save him. But he hadn’t counted on the donkeys.

SanctuarySanctuary is the remarkable true story of how faith turned one lost man’s life around with the help of the rescue animals who loved him. It’s an antidote to despair and a call to hope, revealing the beauty and wonder of Ireland as you’ve never seen it before.

My Thoughts:

This true story of an Irish village, a man who lost his way and the rescue donkeys that led him home should be recommended reading for all those in recovery programs of every kind.

Patrick shares his raw, honest emotions at every stage in his journey, from childhood alcoholism to humble submission to God’s call on his wayward heart. His open sharing of his experience evoked a range of emotions within me from sorrow to joy, frustration to clarity.

Woven within the story by analogy is his love for rescuing and relating to donkeys and their personality traits. Animal lovers will enjoy this read as Patrick truly has a soft heart for his four-legged friends and should be known as the ‘donkey whisperer.’

Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory

Patrick Barrett and Susy Flory, co-authors of Sanctuary.

Sanctuary will encourage and uplift an addicted heart to seek help, reminding the reader that God’s love is unconditional. I enjoyed this true story of rebellion and redemption and highly recommend it.

Purchase from Amazon

Purchase from Tyndale – This link includes a free excerpt and a free sample of the audiobook (the voice actor has a great Irish accent!)

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