Friday, May 12, 2017

Book Review: An Unseen Angel by Alissa Parker

An Unseen Angel
A Mother's Story of Faith, Hope, and Healing After Sandy Hook
By Alissa Parker

Andrea's Review:

I thought this would be a really hard book to read, and it was. I had to read in small bits (sometimes just a chapter at a time) because the tears/crying headache were too much. Sandy Hook was such a horrible event in our country. I cannot imagine sending my kids to school and getting a call that there's been a shooting, and then never seeing my child alive again. The act of the gunman is unthinkable. These little first graders were 100% innocent. It was truly a heartbreaking incident.

Time and time again as I read this book I thought about how good people are. Some of the acts of kindness (often by strangers) may have seemed like small things to the givers, but they all added up to huge actions that helped a family in a horrible time of crisis. The police officer washing and returning the clothing, the gifts of stuff animals and flowers from the airline employees, the police escorts, the co-workers donating their paid time off. So many things that just made me think about the goodness in this world.

It is inspiring to see that Alissa and her family were not destroyed by this tragedy. They suffered immensely, but they held strong to each other and their faith and lifted each other up in their worst moments. 

One of the most important messages to me in this book is the message of forgiveness. I've never dealt with anything remotely close to this situation (and I hope I never have to), but I have been hurt and held onto bitter feelings. I can testify that when you let those bitter feeling go your life is so much better! Those feelings are truly a weight that holds us down. Forgiveness is an important part of the healing process. Alissa's ability to get to a point to recognize that Adam Lanza is also a child of God, loved by our Heavenly Father, helped her on her road to forgiveness. It was a major struggle, but over time she was not only able to forgive him, but to feel love and compassion for him.

Rorie's Review:

Have plenty of tissues nearby. And don't read this book when you're in a public place, like your son's piano lessons for example. I knew from the moment I chose to read this book that it would be difficult. Heartbreaking. And it was. But this book is not about the tragedy of losing her beautiful daughter. It is about how she was able to heal from that horrible tragedy. This book is full of sorrow and pain, but it is also full of hope, peace, forgiveness, and love. 
I have always thought that if I lost one of my children, the only way I'd be able to make it through it would be because of my faith. I can't even begin to imagine the pain and horror and heartache that the Parker family went through. I love that Alissa stated that she never thought to blame God for this tragedy, instead she immediately turned to Him to help her through the tragedy.
My heart warmed at reading just how many wonderful people stepped up and helped out after the shooting. It was so wonderful to see how much good there is, especially in the face of such horrible evil.
This is a tough book to read, especially if you have young children, but it is oh, so worth the tears and heartache, because it leaves you feeling uplifted and at peace. An Unseen Angel
Author: Alissa Parker
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: April 2017
ISBN: 1629722790
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book