Did I Expect Angels? by Kathryn Maughan
From the back cover –
Jennifer Huffaker knows that grief is normal, but she thought she’d get over it – that’s what people do. But it’s been eighteen months since her husband Jack died, and she still can’t focus on her young daughter Kaitlin, can’t accept support from her family, and can’t allow herself to live without the love of her life. Jennifer is angry at everything and everyone – including herself for being so unprepared. But what did she expect? Angels?
On the day after Christmas her anguish finally becomes too much, and Jennifer’s pain culminates into a shattering decision. But this is also the night she runs into Henry, an elderly friend from Costa Rica, who has seen more of life’s trials than anyone could know. Henry realizes the devastating depths to which Jennifer has sunk, and he decides that tonight is the night to tell her his story.
Toughing and incisive, Poignant, and sometimes bitingly funny, both Jennifer’s and Henry’s stories intermingle into a tale of love, despair, faith, and ultimately, hope, as Jennifer realizes she has been blessed with the most unexpected angel of all…
My thoughts –
This is a gem of a little novel. Maughan expertly twined together the narratives of Jennifer and Henry, and in just 168 pages, I truly cared about these characters and wanted things to turn out well. The harder part was reading Henry’s parts, because one can only assume that something tragic happens to him toward the end of his story, and since he’s reflecting on the past, nothing can be done to fix it. The ending of this story is ultimately satisfying; it doesn’t really tie things up in a neat little bow or anything too far-fetched, but it does leave you with the feeling that things will be ok. I can’t say these characters or this story will really stick with me, in fact, I’ve pretty much already forgotten about it and I finished it the other day, but it is a very quick read and a pretty decent story that I’d recommend. One can finish it in an afternoon and be happy about time well spent.