Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Book Review: The Guardian Angel Diary
Author: Grant Schnarr
Publisher: Swedenborg Foundation Press
ISBN: - 978-0-87785-335-0
Synopsis: (paraphrased from the publicity release) Sixteen-year old Nicole Bealart is a teenager living in a world of homework, school, and her own imagination. She also has a brain tumor. To add to her difficult life, her mother also has passed away from cancer and her grieving father has not dealt with this well. Nicole has been left to care for herself and her younger brother while feeling distanced by her dad. She begins writing a journal and her guardian angel becomes part of her written communication.
This is a fictional tale of love, fear, and hope that follows the life of this teen as she copes with a life threatening illness.
My Unsolicited opinion: This is a wonderful story of real life emotion. Many times when a parent dies, the surviving parent is at a loss and unable to care for the emotional needs of the children. Add to it the teen years filled with hormones, drama, and sibling rivalry and the tension builds. When the teen is also going through a life threatening illness with the harsh treatment that follows it is comforting to see how journaling and seeking the support of a guardian angel can be so real in this story.
This book brings the spiritual side that can be intangible especially to young people into focus. The concept is personal and human through the communications in Nicole’s diary and engages the reader into the life of these characters.
I loved the book, loved that it supports the concept of an afterlife, and loved that the characters showed realistic feelings and actions. As a nurse I have seen families act and react just this way and it is heartwarming to see a positive growth of these characters. This book offers hope and encouragement for families going through similar circumstances. It also offers a starting point for discussions with teens and their parents on illness, death, and afterlife for those who have not broached these difficult topics.
I recommend this book for your summer reading but be ready to feel from the heart the emotions these characters share. You will laugh, cry, and remember this long after you finish the last page.