Most parents would agree that having a child predecease them is the worst possible thing they could imagine. While the majority will not have to experience this devastating trial, John and Michelle Schmidt were not so fortunate. In 2016 their daughter, Annie, an avid hiker, went missing and lost her life in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge. Despite John’s fame as a member of The Piano Guys, the only thing that could immunize them from the excruciating pain of Annie’s death was their faith.
In Carried, How One Mother’s Trust in God Helped Her Through the Unthinkable, Michelle Schmidt chronicles the heartbreaking events of this difficult time.
The reader should be prepared that only about 30% of the book actually focuses on the search for Annie. The larger portion is a memoir of John and Michelle’s life leading up to the event, a life fraught with the ups and downs of marriage and a growing family while navigating decades of John’s music career. Clearly the purpose of this background information is to provide the reader with a foundation of the faith-building experiences the family endured that sustained them all during the hardest moments of their lives. That being said, Carried almost feels like two books in one and can be a bit misleading in what the story is truly about.
I appreciated the details of John and Michelle’s early life and have great admiration for their faith, but most readers gravitate towards the book for a different reason, which is to read about Annie’s disappearance and the events surrounding it. Still, it is comforting to see a family recover, albeit slowly, from such a loss and to use the experience to help others.
Bonus Link: John and Michelle Schmidt discuss the search for Annie in the ALL IN podcast. Click HERE.