Into the Book


This book is a moving and powerfully written story of two young college students, who were in a terrible car accident along with five other students. Six were killed, and attention focused on the one survivor: Laura Van Ryn. But after weeks of therapy with the Van Ryn family, a startling conclusion was made: this was not Laura, but Whitney Cerak, another student in the van.

This is a true story. The two girls were actually mistaken for one another in the recovery process. Eventually, about halfway through the book, the mistake is realized, and the grieving Ceraks suddenly rush to the hospital to be reunited with their daughter, Whitney.

Throughout the book, I was impressed with the amazing faith that both families show. Despite losing their daughter that they thought was alive, the Van Ryn’s still praise God through it all because of how many lives have been touched through it. And imagine the elation of the Cerak family to find their daughter is alive.

I can only try to put myself in Whitney’s shoes: going through a life-threatening accident that lands her in the hospital for months. She can’t even pull comfort from having her family with her, but is surrounded by total strangers. With brain damage, how confusing would that be? Thoughts of my family abandoning me would certainly be going through my head.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is the story of two families, who despite a strange turn of circumstances, remain faithful to God, praising Him, and come out stronger as a result of it. If you get the chance, Mistaken Identity is a great read that will benefit you.

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Published on 14 September, 2010. Last updated on

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  1. Jennifer

    Had to comment on this because I just finished it for a school paper I am writing. It really was good, and it really inspired me to be thankful for my own life. The entire message seemed to be that we can’t know what will happen in our lives, but we can trust God through it all.

  2. Maryam Mehboob

    After reading the review of this book i am really impressed. And i will make it sure to read this one. I love to solve Mystery and this seems to be interesting for me.
    As you said in your last paragraph “Believe in God”. A very deep and true message, One who has a strong believe on god can never make a mistake in identifying. If this is the main reason to write this book, I must say a very good effort and a very creative way to express your thoughts.

  3. Anonymous

    This review compelled me to read the book, thanks! It was wonderful, heart breaking, and eye opening. The story told straight from the ones who lived it is almost impossible to grasp. In reading this book, my faith in Christ was immensely strengthened! The devotion of the two families through the crisis shows that God will never give us a cross that is too much to carry, and even when we are at our weakest, HE will carry us through to the end! I highly recommend this book!


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