A Mother Held Hostage: My Journey with Jon

Raising a defiant, strong-willed child with disabilities


A Mother Held Hostage: My Journey with Jon. Barbara Borntrager. 21st Century Press (2003).

A Mother Held Hostage

Book review by Cindy Warner Baker

In the introduction of her book, Barbara Borntrager writes: “It was a wonderful and strange discovery, that by expressing myself honestly in writing, some of the pain was removed from me. I found courage to admit my weaknesses to myself. I trusted the page, and began slowly to find some freedom from expectations and masks I myself or others imposed…Through my own pains and joys of raising a defiant, strong-willed child with disabilities, may you, the reader, find hope for your perhaps similar journey.” Jon Borntrager lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, and this book chronicles the challenges and joys of being his mother. The book is brutally honest; as a mother living a “similar journey,” I can only take in a little at a time. The author shares her anguish, her sorrows, her questions of God, and her conviction that, no matter what the circumstances, God is in control.

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