In the Non-Fiction Corner
When I first opened the book An Unseen Angel by Alissa Parker, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard of the Sandy Hook tragedy, but I was still young when it happened and didn’t realize all the details. This book brings the tragedy to life and what families went through as they faced many parents' greatest fear. However, Ms. Parker focuses on the beauty of her daughter's life and how friends, family, and the entire nation came together to show love in the darkest time of her life.
Even after reading the book, I still feel as though I don’t know much about the actual events at Sandy Hook. The author did not focus on what the shooter did or the terror her daughter faced that day---she put that part of the story into one chapter. The rest of the book talks about the author’s healing and how her daughter’s life helped others. Everything from some of the letters the family has received about how their daughter has inspired others, to them starting their own non-profit to make schools safer, this book focuses on hope, love and forgiveness. However, the author is also very real about how she felt about the shooter at the beginning of the book and her path that led to forgiveness.
My favorite part of the book was when the author mentioned at the beginning that the day her daughter died, she was trying to tell her mother about how the flowers on her wall were connected. “See, mom?” she said “they are all connected. Everything is connected.” Because of this simple statement, the mother was able to find hope. She is able to see that everything happens for a reason and that Heavenly Father will never leave us comfortless. There is a plan for everyone, and even though we may not see it at first, we have to trust. I love that this book causes so much self-reflection on your life now and how you will be when your own personal tragedies come, because surely they will. This book is a beautiful tribute to a little girl who did so much in six years, but also to a beautiful family who has stayed strong through so much and are willing to share their story.
Here's the back copy:
When Alissa Parker lost her daughter Emilie in the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, she started a life-changing journey to answer soul-searching questions about faith, hope, and healing. As she sought for the peace and comfort that could help mend her broken heart, she learned, step by step, how to open her heart to God’s grace and will.
One step brought her face to face with the shooter’s father, where in a pivotal and poignant meeting, she was given an opportunity to forgive. Another step brought her into the sheltering compassion of her community as family, friends, and even strangers reached out to buoy her up with their shared faith. And several miraculous manifestations of Emilie’s continued presence and influence lifted her heart and will validate the faith of every Christian.
The story of Alissa and Emilie reminds us that the bonds of love continue beyond this life and that despite tragedy and heartache, we can find strength in our family and our faith.
You can download your Kindle copy here