May 13, 2020

Review: The Joy of Falling by Lindsay Harrel

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I admit that what pursued me throughout this story was the grief journey. What is it about experiencing such a significant life situation such as losing a loved one that draws us to the stories which speak about such? Is it not wanting to know we’re alone? Is it the hope that often infuses them? Is it just the connection, of knowing someone else clearly gets it? Whatever the reasons (probably it’s a lot of all of them, right? :), I was totally down for reading this one. And Ms. Harrel did not disappoint me!

Grief is such a personal, crazy, upside down, twisty, hopeful, and piercing sort of journey to experience. It truly is one of those things that one must experience in order to “get it”. Well, Ms. Harrel clearly gets it. Her story is absolutely full of all the chaoticness that grief brings a person. Yet its hope grounds these characters and this story, the hope that entwines every single chapter, that dances along all the heartbreak and confusion, that wondrous Hope which never gives up! That hope kept me turning the pages during paragraphs when Angela or Eva frustrated me. I confess that there were several moments in the first half of the book that I didn’t really like them. They were both so caught up in their un-processed grief that I struggled to connect with them. But that’s also what worked! Because real life, real people, we’re like that. Losing a loved one is HARD, and you don’t just “get over it”, nor is it pretty because we humans can behave pretty harshly to each other sometimes, especially when we’re hurting. So even while I was frustrated, I trusted Ms. Harrel to take both of them (as well as me! :) into beautiful new places if I only had the patience. And I was rewarded!

Both Angela and Eva have a lot of growing to do over the course of their journey. And I rather enjoyed watching them grow weaker in order to realize the strength that was already hovering within them, waiting to be noticed. This story is about more than just them. Angela’s children, both of the gentlemen that wreak havoc on said women’s emotions, and of course Sherry (I LOVED Sherry and her words of wisdom at just the right moments!), all the secondary characters took on life around our two main ladies and brought so many different dynamics into play. Certainly they were proof that our personal grieving affects all those in close proximity to us, especially those we love.

Oh, I could go on, there are so many thoughts about grieving and loving and life after that are spinning through my mind! But I think I ought to let you discover this gem of a story for yourself. It’s not an easy journey to make, grief never is. But the end result? Is a beautiful tapestry of wonder, delight, and HOPE. So I think you should totally find a copy real soon for yourself. :)

**I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

"But what if the ultimate muse is really God, and he's got this amazingly full and creative life waiting for you, if only you'll step back into it? Is it possible to allow all the pain and the beauty of life to inspire you? To allow God to inspire you--not to creative, but to live?"

"Stability is overrated. Trusting God to catch you...that's what life was really about."

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