When Trish Collins from TLC Book Tours approached me about being a stop along a book tour for Kathryn Maughan's Did I Expect Angels, I was excited for the chance to be a part. I love the idea of a book winding its way through the blogosphere, being read, reviewed, commented upon. Just another way this blogging world is unique and full of wonderful opportunities.
I think I read this book in under a week–which is saying a lot considering the fact that my only reading opportunities come when I climb into bed each night. Usually, I spend the first two minutes figuring out where I left off in a story and the next two minutes struggling to keep my eyes open until I realize I'm completely asleep with a book balanced on my chest.
Did I Expect Angels, is the story of a wife and mother dealing with grief and depression. One evening, as she travels through her local store to buy pills to end her life, her plans are interrupted by Henry, an elderly Costa Rican who works at the store and somehow senses her situation and need. Though she tries to put up a fight, he takes her to coffee at a local diner and tells her his amazing story that in some ways, parallels her own.
The book flawlessly flashes back and forth between their two stories as you are carried deep into the emotional journey both characters have traveled. The book is hard to put down and Maughan manages to write about the characters as if she has lived and breathed their lives.
I found myself wincing at some of the moments in the story, especially those as the main character deals with her grief, and her need to be mother to her only daughter. Her half-hearted efforts to pull herself together are excruciating but understandable. You feel frustrated with her. You find you're rooting for her.
Though this review sounds like the book is a depressing ride through grief and life struggles, there is redemption at the end. But it is by no means a light and cheerful read, throughout. However, I think that Maughan's amazing character development is a thrill to read and even offers insight into the hearts of those dealing with grief and depression.
Thank you, Trish, for giving me the chance to experience some of Kathryn Maughan's work. It was a pleasure. And it is a pleasure to pass on this good story to all of you, as well.