Friday, August 1, 2008

Book Review: Did I Expect Angels?

Jennifer’s life is still in turmoil 18 months after her husband pasted away. She can’t get her life together or move forward, but knows she needs to for her little girl. Both families are supportive and wanting to help her, but Jennifer is unable to accept that life will never be the same. Depressed, grieving and overwhelmed, she decided there is only one way to make things better. Luckily, this is the night she runs in to Henry. He knows Jennifer from the store he greets at and they’ve talked about his homeland, Costa Rica. He sees the look of desperation in her eyes that night and decides he needs to tell her his story of hardship and tribulations he has had to endure. In a diner, their stories unfold.

The author, Karen Maughan, takes the lives of Jennifer and Henry and makes an amazing story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring. She takes us back to before Jennifer’s tragic loss of her husband and brings us through to current day. The ups and downs of her life seem to reflect that something tragic might happen. Henry’s life is rewound for us to see his start in Costa Rica and his long, hard road to immigrate and make something of himself in the United States for his family. The author’s writing method of jumping from Jennifer’s past to current time to Henry’s past, throughout the book makes the story flow easier. It helped mix up the times you had to read Henry’s broken English (be aware there is a bit of Spanish used in the story), but that actually made the story ‘different’ to me. You might not understand a few words, but the meaning still comes through by how he tells his story.

On a personal note, having lost my husband suddenly, the passages after she found out she had lost him were so clear in my own memory. I could truly feel Jennifer’s grief, inability to focus and being angry at everyone. The steady flow of ‘get over it’ from family is hard to hear when you are still grieving. I needed a box of Kleenex next to me for most of the second half of the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves stories that pull at your heart. The book is short in length (182pgs), so most people might be able to read in one sitting.

Overall, this was an amazing book that brought a woman in anguish to a man full of life stories together. The meaning of our lives is a strong theme in this book from start to finish. Sometimes, the best moments in life are those unexpected angels that come to you and change your life….forever.

Received book and Reviewed for

Rated: 5/5 stars


Anonymous said...

I saw this book mentioned on an upcoming book blog tour and knew I had to look into it!
Your review encourages me to do so; I was impressed that you were able to read/review it impartially since you so strongly identified with the main character. That must have been difficult, thank you for sharing the review with us.

Allison said...

Thank you for you kind comments! It is a great read!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read. I'm putting it on my list. Also, I'm adding you to my blogroll.

Allison said...

thanks! I am adding you to mine too!