Way Back Wednesday – Book Reviews I Never Posted | Almost Gone by John Baldwin #waybackwednesday #orangecountyreads


It’s time for the weekly “Way Back Wednesday” where I wend my way through reviews I never posted.

A word to the wise: a way with words is why I whistle while I work. {wink wink}

Almost Gone by John Baldwin & Mackenzie Baldwin

🎚Non fiction, memoir, pub 11/14/17

This book was an honest and scary look at a family who almost lost their daughter. Good Christian home, loving parents and a daughter who almost gave it all up for a person she had never met.

Told from both the father and daughters viewpoints, the story details how Mackenzie met Aadam, a Muslim man living in Kosovo on a random chat website. How they talked for over a year and the plans they made. It’s an incredible story and one that I’m sure is not that unusual. The parents heartbreak and confusion and surprise was real. This would be a relevant and important book to read with your daughter.

Goodreads | Amazon

About the Book:

The harrowing true story of a high-school senior, her parents, her secret online relationship with a handsome, manipulative stranger, and her well-laid plan to leave home and country to marry a man in Kosovo she thought she loved.

The Baldwins were a strong, tight-knit family living in Texas. When their seventeen-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, met Aadam in an online chat room, she fell for his good looks, his charm, and his respectful conversation. He lived in Kosovo, and they began talking regularly. The more attached Mackenzie became to Aadam, the more detached she became from her family.

Mackenzie’s parents, John and Stephanie Baldwin, had no clue there was a man behind their daughter’s sudden change in personality, her surprising interest in Islam, and her withdrawal from friends and family. When Mackenzie’s attachment to Aadam increased and they became “engaged,” Mackenzie started making plans to fly secretly to Kosovo and marry Aadam.

But twenty-five days before Mackenzie was scheduled to leave the country, three friends in whom Mackenzie had confided told Mackenzie’s father. Through the help of their pastor, John Baldwin contacted the FBI and asked for help. The FBI did not believe Aadam was involved with ISIS or that he was trying to radicalize her, but they were concerned about Aadam’s intentions, as that part of Kosovo was known for sex-trafficking and money scams. With just 72 hours left before Mackenzie’s planned departure, three FBI agents confronted her and urged her to stay.

Told from the viewpoint of both father and daughter, Almost Gone allows us to walk with this family through Mackenzie’s network of lies and deceit and John and Stephanie’s escalating bewilderment and alarm. More than a cautionary tale, this is the story of unconditional parental love and unwavering faith, and how God helped a family save their daughter from a relationship that jeopardized not only her happiness, but also her safety.

Web Links:

Online and Out of Control – She was a Plano high schooler. He lived in Kosovo. Only the FBI kept them apart.

Mackenzie Baldwin on life after “Almost Gone” – Local Profile

Mackenzie Baldwin – speaker/author page

QOTD: Have you heard of this book? What do you think about this subject?

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