Surviving Emily


Fiction - General
232 Pages
Reviewed on 07/22/2012
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Author Biography

Laurie Bellesheim, a published poet, belongs to several writers, organizations including Writer’s Digest, Authors Den and Goodreads.com. Laurie began writing at a young age, starting with poetry and short stories. In 2008, shortly after becoming a stay-at-home mother to three children, she decided to fulfill a dream of hers, and she began to write her first novel.
Laurie was inspired to write Surviving Emily because she lost a close friend to Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) when she was a teenager. Not only does the story hold great meaning to her, but Laurie also hopes her novel will help raise awareness about epilepsy and the deadly condition of SUDEP.
Before writing Surviving Emily, Laurie was a social worker for six years, including working with the Department of Children and Families. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor's degree in social work. She lives in Connecticut with her loving husband and three children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

Seventeen year old Abigail awakens on the morning of November 11, 1990, as she and her friend Emily, who is living temporarily with Abigail and her mother, are to go to work. But Emily's body lies in the room across from Abigail's. She has died during the night from Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy. Epileptic since 1979, Emily had stopped taking her anti-convulscent medicine when she moved in with Abigail and Abigail's mother. Emily only wanted to be a normal teenager, not someone with unexpected convulsive attacks. However, her death has left a great hole in the lives of her boyfriend Stephen and her best friend Abigail. Twelve years later, Stephen is on the verge of becoming a successful artist and Abigail is a social worker for the Department of Children and Families in Connecticut, but they still think of Emily and the trauma her death brought to them both. Can Stephen get his life together and marry Carolina and will Abigail get to hold her own baby in her arms?

"Surviving Emily" is a well-written story about the lingering effects of death upon those who are close to the person who has died. Stephen's getting his life together and Abigail's ability to let Emily go are testimonials to the need for counselling and support after a horrific event. Abigail, Stephen, Carolina and all other characters in this story are totally believable and support the storyline nicely. The plot moves smoothly to the story's ending where Stephen and Abigail go about the lives they have made for themselves. "Surviving Emily" is a lovely story that readers everywhere will want to put on their "must-read" lists.