When Angels Fly


Non-Fiction - Memoir
339 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2016
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

S. Jackson is a retired registered nurse; a member of the Catholic Church, and has taught kindergarten Catechism; she has worked in various capacities for The American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Cub and Boy Scouts, (son, Noah, is an Eagle Scout), and sponsored trips for high school children's music. She loves all forms of art but mostly focuses on the visual arts; amateur photography, traditional, and graphic art as her health allows.

A. Raymond is a member of the Catholic Church, and has helped his wife with The American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Cub and Boy Scouts, and
sponsored children alongside his wife on music trips. He devotes his spare time to fishing, reading, playing poker, Jeeping, and travel adventures with his wife. They both love spending time with their first grandson.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

When Angels Fly by S. Jackson and A. Raymond is a heart-wrenching, powerful story of a woman’s suffering, pain, faith, and love, a story that will open a whole new world to most readers, especially those who have never been abused or forsaken. Reading this memoir will open the eyes of readers to the sufferings and struggles experienced by many women silently, their courage, and their silent hopes. Sarah’s suffering started early in her childhood with frequent abuse from her mother and the insensitivity of her school friends. “In fifth grade,” she writes, “a tumor was found under my left nipple.” The benign tumor could not cause so much trouble for her as it was curable. But Sarah will suffer more abuse from a husband and be driven to near insanity by the loss of her two children.

I couldn’t help thinking about womanhood while reading When Angels Fly. As a man and a father, it is hard to imagine the kind of feeling my wife has for our two kids. Many times I had to stop reading, close my eyes, and ask myself: “Could this be really happening?” I couldn’t help but wonder about the stuff of which women are made, because Sarah is a tough woman, sensitive, and rich in her humanity. It is inspiring to see how she gives life and nourishes it. The experience with Eli, her son suffering from cancer, is very touching and one that will inspire many people in the way they relate with their children. S. Jackson and A. Raymond have done a wonderful job in sharing experiences that will offer hope and provoke a silent revolution in the way most of us see women and life. It’s a book that every man should read. And I mean every man!

There are some of those books for which we find no words and When Angels Fly is one of them. In this memoir, the authors show how a woman can find meaning and survive unimaginable suffering by connecting to her motherhood. It is a story of hope and the power of love and prayer. Although it will draw tears from your eyes as you read, it will inspire hope and courage. I love this book for the deep experience of the narrators and for the powerful lessons it offers.

Reviews From Amazon

A Heartfelt Story of a Mother's Love, May 25, 2016
By JW

5 Stars from Grant!

This review is from: When Angels Fly (Kindle Edition)
I read this book after the author appeared on the We Love Memoirs group, Spotlight on Sunday. The story is a very moving account of the authors life and most importantly the story tells of her son Eli who becomes sick with cancer and subsequently dies. The book is in four parts with the third part being told from her diary recounting the months of Eli's illness and his passing away. The first two parts of the book set the scene and show how Sarah's life has been hard with an abusive mother throughout her childhood and then marrying a husband who is also abusive. As I read I felt very much that the mother was a psychopathic narcissist at best and the husband was an abusive alcoholic who had no feeling for his family and his only love being the bottle. Sarah has a very hard road which many of us would not survive I am sure. Her faith though does give her solace and even though it wavered at times in the end does help her through. I enjoyed reading the book but not so much the diary format although this was a way of telling the story day by day. I admired Sarah's love and devotion to her children and her loving heart comes through. How she managed to cope with the mother's ongoing abuse through her son's illness is beyond belief. I will refrain from saying too much more as don't want to give more away as there are many other aspects to this heartfelt story.

This book is truly inspiring. I can honestly say that no book that I have read in recent times has had the emotional impact on me that this book has had. I rode right alongside this mother
from the first diagnosis of her child's illness, right through to the conclusion. Even before her child's illness, I had to keep asking myself; are there really parents out there who treat their children as horrifically as this woman's mother and her family had treated her? She went from an abused child, to a loveless marriage filled with physical, mental and sexual abuse, to losing her first child to a stillborn birth and then finally reaping the rewards with two beautiful young boys.
Life was finally looking up for her before little Eli was struck down with cancer. We follow his journey, step by step as the young mother attempts to keep her sanity, split her time between one child in the hospital and one two hundred and fifty miles away. You can really feel her anguish and pain in every page. All the while, the very people who should have been helping to ease her burden; her mother, her siblings and her soon to be ex-husband were so busy plotting and planning on how they could benefit from this turn of events, she was left to struggle along with support only from some special friends. This book is a harrowing read, make no mistake, but it is also incredibly rewarding. To anyone who has ever complained about how hard their life is - I say; read "When Angels Fly". To anyone who has ever said their life sucked - I say; read "When Angels Fly". When you have seen the courage, the fortitude and the immense challenges that this woman and her beautiful son faced you can't help but be uplifted and reminded just how much we all have to be grateful for.
This book reveals our indomitable human spirit in such a powerful and uplifting way. The book is in a large part a daily journal of Eli's time in hospital but I totally understand the need the author felt to document every day - every day with her son was so very precious. This book had a powerful impact on me as a reader. I was truly moved by and genuinely felt everything this poor woman had to endure... mostly alone. There was no way I could not give this book five stars. The memories of Sarah, Noah and Eli will live in my memory well after I've consigned this book to the "read" shelf. I feel privileged to have shared Sarah's harrowing journey. When Angels Fly does exactly what it sets out to do I believe - it reminds us that "There but for the grace of God, go I". I recommend this book to all.... it will make you cry, but it will also uplift you. Well done. ~ Grant Leishman, Author, The Second Coming

From Susan Vance 5 Stars

I highly recommend When Angel Fly
By susan.vance on June 22, 2015
Format: Paperback
Tissues are a must. A true story about pain and suffering. Life is not the same for anyone, and in this case it is so very tragic. A heartwarming story. I don't want to give anything away, but once you sit down to read it, you won't put it down. This is a must read book and a must share when you are done. I highly recommend When Angel Fly...

From JW

A Heartfelt Story of a Mother's Love
By JW on May 25, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book after the author appeared on the We Love Memoirs group, Spotlight on Sunday. The story is a very moving account of the authors life and most importantly the story tells of her son Eli who becomes sick with cancer and subsequently dies. The book is in four parts with the third part being told from her diary recounting the months of Eli's illness and his passing away. The first two parts of the book set the scene and show how Sarah's life has been hard with an abusive mother throughout her childhood and then marrying a husband who is also abusive. As I read I felt very much that the mother was a psychopathic narcissist at best and the husband was an abusive alcoholic who had no feeling for his family and his only love being the bottle. Sarah has a very hard road which many of us would not survive I am sure. Her faith though does give her solace and even though it wavered at times in the end does help her through. I enjoyed reading the book but not so much the diary format although this was a way of telling the story day by day. I admired Sarah's love and devotion to her children and her loving heart comes through. How she managed to cope with the mother's ongoing abuse through her son's illness is beyond belief. I will refrain from saying too much more as don't want to give more away as there are many other aspects to this heartfelt story.

From JRN 5 Stars

Excellent read. Tragic story of a woman and the ...
By JRN on May 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent read. Tragic story of a woman and the abuse she suffered growing up and later in marriage. This book shows the struggles she faced while in an abusive marriage, losing two children, and one child's battle with cancer. She tells of hospital life while sitting by her sons bed and having to be miles away in distance from her other child. And how she finds true love and a man to love, cherish, help her through, and spend the rest of her life with.

Review by Karen Ingalls

4.0 out of 5 starsMoving
By KAREN INGALLS on May 13, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Haunting and moving account of a young woman's abusive life first with her mother, then her husband. Her three sons are precious gifts that hold her life together, but unfortunately two of them die. The story is told in a diary form which took away from the story for me. Yet, I do appreciate that the mother kept accurate daily records of Eli's long illness, delayed diagnosis, many hospitalizations, and eventual death. I cannot imagine the pain that she went through. I admire how she was at his side always his champion, and yet constantly reaching out to her older son who was at home being cared for by a friend. A beautiful, faith-restoring story.

Review by PS Winn

Good read of life and death are the effects on us all
By P.S. Winn on March 28, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the story of Sarah and those who touched her life in good ways and bad. The story is told mostly through the recollections that were written down in a type of diary, so it is a day by day account of life and loss. Sarah has an abusive family and then when she leaves to get married it is to an abusive husband. After losing her first child before birth, she is blessed with two boys, sadly one is extremely sick. This is the story of what happens to Eli and how it effects his mother, his brother Noah and even the abusive dead and the rest of the dysfunctional family. Interesting read that may tear at a few heart strings.

Review by Julie Haigh

Incredibly moving and emotional
By Julie Haigh on March 29, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
This memoir is so moving and emotional even from the very first page. No one should have to go through what the author has gone through. Such a sad tone, yet beautifully expressed. In her memoir the author tells of caring for a very sick son, who had been diagnosed with cancer. The author’s son was between 4 and 5 years old when he was diagnosed and going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It just doesn’t bear thinking about how awful this is-yet there are people going through this all the time. Being with her son at the hospital meant being separated for long periods from her other child who had to stay with a carer 230 miles away. It’s so hard. Add to that marriage ructions, arguments, lack of support of any kind from her family/mother and you just can’t imagine how it was for this lady. Unimaginable. She tells of hospital life, at her son’s bedside via entries in her journal at the time. How some people cope and still retain hope is incredibly inspirational. She now can appreciate the good she has had in her life, eg. her sons, even if she only had them a short time-and she now has a wonderful partner-she can see the difference as she's experienced such bad times too. She's a child in the 60s-same era as me. She rushed into marriage with a man who was far from ideal to get away from abuse at home by her own mother. From one lot of abuse into another with a violent, drunk husband. This is such a heart-tugging book. It's certainly not an easy read but you are carried along wanting to know more-how bad could it get, how many more things could be thrown at this woman and how would she ever get through them? The first part of the memoir was a more flowing style of writing then it jumps to where Eli is fighting cancer: These bits are told exclusively through diary entries. This section tends to be a bit repetitive sometimes but that reflects just what they’re going through-they have to do a lot of the same things every day, they’re in limbo, they don’t know if he’ll improve or not, it’s one long road of diagnostic tests, chemo, radiotherapy treatments and surgeries, blood test results daily etc. This is a very hard read. A very hard read indeed. One can only imagine the extent of the sorrow when something like this happens, when you’re right in the middle of it, going through it, living it. This is incredibly moving, you can't fail to be touched intensely by the final scenes. There is a good, hopeful ending after all the anguish though. The author is certainly a survivor. With all she has gone through, wow, I have no words, her memoir speaks volumes.

Review by Vicki Drane

A Must Read
By vicki draneon April 25, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
I was incredibly moved by this raw and genuine memoir. It is a story of strength in coping with terminal illness of a child. Hauntingly beautiful and profound, the author gives us an intimate look into her life, struggle, and heartbreak. I was inspired by her resilience and faith. It is a story I will always carry with me.

Review by Tonia Soldan

Amazing and heartbreaking book all in one
By Tonia Soldanon October 20, 2015
Format: Paperback
I was given this book to read by the author and I will say it has given me a whole new insight on the person that she is . She made it through a lot of heartache ,abuse and the death of her children by the grace of God and her faith in God . Amazing and heartbreaking book all in one.

Review by Kris Ball

This book will touch your heart and make you count your blessings
By Kris Ballon August 31, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was heartbreakingly wonderful, painful and beautiful at the same time. The authors take you on a devastating journey and invite you in to share in their suffering. A must read-just make sure to stockpile tissues before you begin this book!