Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: The Littlest Angel

19110172Title: The Littlest Angel
Author: Heidi Chandler
Series: N/A
Publisher: Self Published
Published: March 27, 2012
Format: Print Copy
Pages: 174
Dates Read: July 29-30 2017
Source: Received from the author in
exchange for an honest review
Add on Goodreads
My Rating: 4 Stars


Four years ago I had the perfect life. I had a great career, a doting husband, and a loving family. Life couldn’t get any better, so my husband and I decided, after four years of carefree marital bliss and a great deal of hesitation, it was finally time to start a family.
My pregnancy happened quickly and mirrored my life - happy, healthy, and full of love, even dubbed “perfect” by one of my doctors. That all changed when my water broke two weeks before my due date, and I was blindsided by the ugly reality that perfect doesn’t exist.
What followed was a tortuous hospital stay, where I learned my daughter’s umbilical cord had wrapped tightly around her neck, causing her to die in my womb. I had a grueling delivery that scarred me emotionally and physically. I tried desperately to move past the shock, understand what went wrong, and say goodbye to my only child.
I spent months blaming myself, relentlessly searching for the why and how, cursing God and trying to comprehend what I had done to deserve such pain. I was a recluse filled with guilt and self-hatred. I carried my daughter’s ashes everywhere I went. I became obsessed with having another baby, certain that the only way life would get better was if I could replace my daughter.
Reluctantly forced to return to work and the real world, I struggled to find normal. Yet over time, through the kindness of strangers and friends, I realized that there is a method to the madness of life, and I began to find peace. I became pregnant again, and, though I longed for a girl, now have two little boys that taught me that life moves on and it’s possible to love again.

Melissa's Musings

First let me preface this review by saying that I have had this book on my shelf waiting to be read for far longer than I care to admit. Also, let me preface this by saying that I have never been pregnant, nor have I experienced the loss of a child.

This might leave some of you wondering, "Well, why would you read a book like this if you can't really relate to it?"

Simple. I've always been interested in people's stories, people's lives. And this is quite the story.

This is a story of intense loss, and grief. But also a story of the pains and joys of picking up life to move forward and onward, but not away from what happened. 

This is told in a raw, real, down to earth way. The author has a writing style that is relatable, and not stiffed or forced. In some of the most intense moments in the book, I found myself laughing out loud, not because something was funny, but just from the fact that the author was so candid in  her responses to such intense situations. 

I liked that the author chose to show the whole gamut of her emotions, from awkwardness to panic, to fear, to grief, and all that run in between, rather than hiding behind the "appropriate responses" that other people expected her to display. Is it "normal" to carry around your daughter's ashes with you as you go about your daily life? No, probably not, but it was an honest and true need of the author. And the fact that she let herself do that probably helped her to heal in a way that she may not have had she not allowed herself to do something like that for fear of it being strange or odd.

Though the author does a good job of including bits and pieces of her husband's experience I think the book would have been that much more powerful if we had heard a bit of his perpective in his own words, perhaps if he had his own chapter. Losses like those of stillbirth are often limited to the woman's experience, and it would have been interesting to see this from both parent's perspectives directly.

This is an intense, quick read that's well worth the time.

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