With Angel's Wings by Stephanie Collins

To start, let me say that I have often praised a book for being non-put-downable, having read it in a day. This memoir deserves more and I gave it more time, partly because I felt so close to Laura, the mum (I’m a bloke by the way) that I got exhausted going through what she was going through. I should explain that someone very close to me went through similar (scarily similar) circumstances but they were a couple that helped each other and didn’t have the husband in the marines, away from home as in this book. When I say scarily similar I’m talking genetic glitch, wondering why, wanting to get out of the big city hospital back to the friendly local hospital, exhaustingly slow increased calorie count, grabbing the NG tube etc.

It would be a waste of time telling you how well written this book is, many more reviewers who are more adept than me, both nationally and internationally, have given it plaudits and it has won many major awards and accolades.

I guess, if you are a mother you may be thankful for what you see as a near perfect child, full stop. Those with more compassion will purchase this book and live the life of Laura and then try to work out whether you will treasure the book forever and read it again at a later date, or whether you have an over-riding need to share it with your friends.

I suppose there might be two stumbling blocks to the book purchase, both of which I can answer here if the author will allow;-


A) Is the story of Laura and her two daughters over dramatised to make a good novel. Answer is no. In my experience, and the experience of the person close to me that went through similar circumstances, it is all real and very believable. The actions are real, the reactions are real, the agonising is real, the step from one procedure to the next is also very real.


B) I live in the UK so will I understand what happens in a book based in the USA. Answer yes. I’m not sure why but I was expecting things to be different but they’re not. Some of the drugs are the same but some ward names are different but easily distinguishable. The big difference I suppose is the National Health system in the UK so we don’t have all the hassle of Medical Insurance Companies and their form filling.


I will hope to read this excellent book a second time should it ever get returned to me. It is going from me to my daughter in law and I have a feeling that it will go from her to Ty Hafan our local hospice that serves so well my grandson and his family.
Sorry Stephanie, about the lack of extra sales through me passing on your book but it could well be that the circulation of your brilliance around South Wales does bring you the recognition and extra sales that you deserve.

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