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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Comfort in the Wings: A Novel Inspired by Love That Will Not Die by Jennifer Collins is a contemporary women's novel. It follows a protagonist named Larissa Whitcomb who, following a series of devastating losses, is absolutely shattered. A mother whose transient son Eric is nowhere to be found, a daughter named Emma whose self-medication of illegal narcotics lead to her premature death, and a marriage that crumbles and leaves Larissa to grieve alone. Some days she tries to care about herself and most days she does not, but ever so slowly she begins to maneuver within the confines of her new normal until once more the universe implodes again. And still, she rises. Pain, death, loss, confusion, deceit, grace, love, strength, healing. This is the story of one woman's path into a light she never believed she might bask in again.
Comfort in the Wings is one of those books that many readers will not get. There are some novels where the pile-up of a sequence of serious tragedies is just too much and, frankly, when reading for pleasure a book about a woman who has every person she loves plucked away from her isn't exactly a warm and fuzzy story. Jennifer Collins has not penned Larissa's story as a fast and satisfying read. It's sad. It has a positive outcome but the sludge Larissa wades through is thick. The pages are filled with an almost exclusive narrative and the dialogue, while present, is less than 1/3 of the book. So then, who is Collins's book good for? Comfort in the Wings will resonate with readers who are comfortable with a slow burn, a literary women's novel where the character arc is the actual plot, and for those for whom the unpeeling of emotions through a lengthy grieving process is exactly the cathartic balm the reader needs in their own life. Essentially, Collins has gifted the Larissas of the world a manuscript of hope, and, on this day and at this time, it is exactly what I needed. Very highly recommended.