We often find ourselves daydreaming about what our futures will be like. This may be especially true if one lives in an environment most would consider less than desirable. Some are lucky to find their futures much like their childhood dreams. Others find the paths to their dreams strewn with hurdles. Growing up, Sarah dodged her mother's blows. She often hid in her room crying about her life. Still, she believes in her future and the happiness it can bring. In their book, When Angels Fly, authors S. Jackson and A. Raymond tell Sarah's story - their stories. The authors use their journals to describe Sarah's experiences of family dys-function, strength, courage, faith, abuse, grief, and so much more. You'll read how, like many, she attempts to escape from her mother's abuse through marriage. And like many, she learns it is not a viable alternative. Then Sarah experiences a parent's ultimate tragedy twice, the deaths of her sons, Joshua and Eli. When Angels Fly is about much more than the telling of a family's tragedy. It is also the story of finding faith after it has wavered. Most of all, it's a story of love lost and found. After reading When Angels Fly, I realized how fortunate I am that my two children are alive and well.
I was fortunate enough to be given this book as a gift, and I am so grateful to my friend for giving me this to read... it was truly inspiring. I can honestly say that no book that I have read in recent times has had the emotional impact on me that this book has had. I rode right alongside this mother from the first diagnosis of her child's illness, right through to the conclusion. Even before her child's illness, I had to keep asking myself; are there really parents out there who treat their children as horrifically as this woman's mother and her family had treated her? She went from an abused child, to a loveless marriage filled with physical, mental and sexual abuse, to losing her first child to a stillborn birth and then finally reaping the rewards with two beautiful young boys. Life was finally looking up for her before little Eli was struck down with cancer. We follow his journey, step by step as the young mother attempts to keep her sanity, split her time between one child in the hospital and one 250 miles away. You can really feel her anguish and pain in every page. All the while, the very people who should have been helping to ease her burden; her mother, her siblings and her soon to be ex-husband were so busy plotting and planning on how they could benefit from this turn of events, she was left to struggle along with support only from some special friends.
This book is a harrowing read, make no mistake, but it is also incredibly rewarding. To anyone who has ever complained about how hard their life is - I say; read "When Angels Fly". To anyone who has ever said their life sucked - I say; read "When Angels Fly". When you have seen the courage, the fortitude and the immense challenges that this woman and her beautiful son faced you can't help but be uplifted and reminded just how much we all have to be grateful for.
This book reveals our indomitable human spirit in such a powerful and uplifting way. The book is in a large part a daily journal of Eli's time in hospital but I totally understand the need the author felt to document every day - every day with her son was so very precious. This book had a powerful impact on me as a reader. I was truly moved by and genuinely felt everything this poor woman had to endure... mostly alone. There was no way I could not give this book five stars. The memories of Sarah, Noah and Eli will live in my memory well after I've consigned this book to the "read" shelf. I feel privileged to have shared Sarah's harrowing journey. When Angels Fly does exactly what it sets out to do I believe - it reminds us that "There but for the grace of God, go I". I recommend this book to all.... it will make you cry, but it will also uplift you. Well done.
~ Grant Leishman, Author, The Second Coming