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Did I Expect Angels?

by Kathryn Maughan

      Jennifer met her husband, Jack, while she was a student at Columbia University. She graduated with a Master's Degree and Jack went on to law school. After a year of dating they married. Jennifer was working on her dissertation toward her Ph.D. and Jack had begun practicing law with a prominent law firm. He worked long hours and usually seven days a week. Jennifer began to experience bouts of depression. After two years of marriage their daughter, Kaitlin was born.

When Jennifer is thirty-one, and Kaitlin three, Jack at the age of thirty-four dies, not yet even making partner at his law firm after all of the excruciating hours he put in there. The first year after Jack's death is full of firsts, the first birthday, anniversary, Christmas, etc. Jennifer thinks the second year things will be better but her depression continues to spiral downward and out-of-control. Eighteen months after Jack dies, Jennifer's grief becomes unbearable and she decides to end her life.

Jennifer goes to "The Twenty-Four-Hours Discount Place" to get a prescription refilled so she can carry out her suicide plan. Henry works at "The Twenty-Four Hours Discount Place" as a greeter. He's an older man, retired, who doesn't need the money but likes to get out of the house and be around people. Jennifer has known Henry since Jack died and Henry, sensing something is terribly wrong, takes Jennifer to a cafe to talk.

Henry shares his life story with Jennifer, the hardships and disappointments he endured when first coming to America forty-years ago. He shares his shattered dreams, his losses and his grief. One might say Henry turned out to be Jennifer's unexpected angel.

Jennifer and Henry's life stories are interwoven throughout the book and are equally engrossing to read. Kathryn Maughan is a gifted and talented writer. Did I Expect Angels? takes an in-depth look into depression and grief. Once I started reading Did I Expect Angels? I couldn't put it down. It is so well-written I could feel Jennifer's pain and grief. The character development is superb and the characters come to life while reading the pages of this book.

Kathryn Maughan is a master storyteller and I look forward to reading many more books written by her. Did I Expect Angels? is a five-star book and comes highly recommended.

The Book

August 24, 2007
Trade Paperback
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The Reviewer

Connie Harris
Reviewed 2007
© 2007