In the introduction to Fynn's 'Mister God This Is Anna', Vernon Sproxton defines an 'Ah! Book' as one which fundamentally changes the reader's consciousness. This is an 'Ah! book'.
As an English graduate I must acknowledge that there are a few grammatical errors in the text, but as a reader I must also say it couldn't matter less. Perhaps it's even a good thing, for to read this book is to connect with a real, fallible, loving human being who is writing truthfully and from the heart. I defy anyone to read this and not identify with the writer. The philosophy is wise, but always humble and never patronising, while the vivid details of everyday life spark the whole with a reality that is at first terrifying and gradually comforting as we travel Sandy's journey right alongside her. From the familiar picture on the first page of a woman working on her 'list of chores' to the shining triumph over a batch of chocolate fudge, from the graphic horror of the nightmares to the peace of the final light, this is a story we can lose our whole selves in as we trace the footsteps of one woman's journey through grief to acceptance. This is not a book for someone seeking glib, easy answers - it offers instead the reality of an ongoing journey - but answers are there all the same, and I for one have learnt a great deal from it.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has suffered bereavement or any other great trial. I would recommend it to anyone who hasn't, if only to help them prepare for the time when they do, and to reach greater understanding of those who have. In other words I would recommend this book to anyone at all who has a heart.
For those who need to know that can get through it.,
A very hopeful story,
|By||Tanya Gunby "Tanya" (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews|
Wonderful, heartfelt read!,
Lemonade from life’s Lemon...A Gift from the Heart ~by Paul Price ~Article wriiten in Shoppers Guide Bedford PA, 8-22-09
"When Sandy England’s nine-year old grandson was struck by a car and died, her world was turned up-side down to say the least. As she grieved, she, like nearly any-one in the same situation would do, attempted to understand why it happened to a young boy. Why didn’t she die instead? After all, she was older and he had a full life ahead of him.
In her journey, she discovered that nearly all those related to the boy blamed themselves for something that wasn’t their fault at all. They all lived in a world filled with “If only…” or “ I wish I had…”, often unaware of each others feelings.
The lemon handed to Sandra has been made into lemonade for all to read, appreciate, cry through and identify with. In her grief her fear of forgetting her young grandson, she took pen in hand and wrote “Red Hair and Freckles: Running Barefoot through the Storm.”.
In plain and simple English,
As I write this I admit to not having completed reading the book, yet. Each time I have a few moments, I wander to my desk, and read a bit, fighting to not go to the back of the book and “cheat” by reading the end first to discover the out come. By the time you read this, I’ll know, but don’t ask. I won’t tell.
Now in its published form, the paperback is available for your life lesson…"
This is the true to life story of how the authors first born daughter
Jennifer Lynn lost her 9 year old son P.J. in a tragic accident. The
text recounts Sandy’s mental and spiritual state as she tries to hold
herself and her immediate family together in the wake of the tragedy.
Subtitled “Running Barefoot through the Storm”, the chapters are
interlaced with dream sequences, sometimes terrifying nightmares,
other times a fleeting glimpse into Sandy’s interpretation of the
families spiritual journey.
I’ve known the author for almost 50 years (she’s my sister). This is
how Sandy has always dealt with whatever life has handed her. She
writes poems and stories about various situations as they arise until
she can make some kind of logical sense out of them.
This is a difficult book to read, as it was difficult to write. But I
was glad I read all the way through because what emerges in the end is
Sandy’s unshakable faith in life.
"I really enjoyed the book. I think you were very honest and shared some feelings that most people would try to keep to themselves. I think it was brave that you did put those thoughts/feelings on paper. I think it will help anyone who is going through a loss/grief to know that other people struggle with the same dark, sad feelings. Though it can be overwhelming and that it will not get better overnight is scary but that there are better days ahead.
The loss of a child seems especially difficult on families. Like you noted, it is not the natural order of things and I think it cuts the deepest as a loss. I think your book can help people to see that the loss they are feeling, the wounds to the family (all members) is deep and that they will be dealing with the loss on levels they never really knew existed. But, among all of that, I think the reader can see that life moves on with the good and the bad. For those of faith, I think they will find a special message in your writing.
Thank you for completing it - I know it had to have been painful at many stages. Thanks for pushing through the pain and bringing forward such sweet, sad, joyful, painful, and beautiful life experiences. Though it has special meaning to us as family members, I think any reader is going to have a powerful experience."
"From the beginning the author draws the reader into her story. It is magnetic and inspiring. The reader must first endure a somewhat painful journey in what has to be everyone’s nightmare.
The loss of a child is hard enough to see on TV or read about in the papers, and to think it could happen to the reader is heartbreaking.
This book reads like a novel because the reader will want to know what happens next, yet it is also a testament from the author.
The dream sequence makes this reviewer wish he would have recorded his own dreams. This book will make the reader, not make, maybe inspire us to reevaluate our own existence and question why or where we are now.
The author did not try to wrap up her story with the “happy ending.” She kept it real and when you read it you will understand. We hope she will write more about other times in her life.
"Sandy, that book is a heart grenade. It came under/over/through my defenses and exploded my heart. I cried, I grinned, and I understood.
You were right—I couldn’t have dealt with it as an editor. Or even as a critiquer. Too powerful. Too close to home.
You created a masterpiece. By sharing your journey, you’ll guide others to a quiet bay. There, thanks to you, they can find a measure of peace.
By exposing your secret self, you’ve enabled others to see into their locked cells. Maybe they can even find the keys, when they can stop crying long enough to read again.
For me, one of the most important things you have done is to not show the actions of others that caused you so much pain.
That’s a major signpost on your highway—one I’m sure others will follow. Showing the way by not showing other’s faults is masterly forgiveness. In your usual way, you showed your gentle acceptance of how others act. You saw each of your family in the spirit of who they really are; not how they acted at times. You’re a Christly person, Sandy.
As for the workmanship of the writing, I’m awed. That editor was right. You had full command of the tools; grammar, punctuation and pacing. If I’d never lost anyone to death the reading would have still been absorbing. As it was, it is, as you know, disturbing. The timing, for me, is perfect. In deciding to foster parent I’ve had to unearth my childhood. Had to explore it in detail. Your book is putting the old pain into perspective.
You’ve affected my life in many ways over the years. Well, you just did it again.
A wonderful book from a stupendously talented and articulate writer.
Congratulations, your efforts are going to bring success. And peace and forgiveness to many. Me? I’m honored to be your friend and soulsister."
H. Susan Shaw
See Detailed Ratings
November 06, 2009: I have seen and heard every story I believe exists about grief and personal loss. As well I am familiar witht the darkness that trauma can create.
Sandy mentions devine intervention, and I believe GOD brought her to me.
I've been confronted with my own dilemma of trauma, not mine, but my lovely 16 year old grand daughter. I was having trouble understanding why she has turned GOTH and started cutting. Both are signs of trauma.
Sandy's incredible ability to tell how she felt, has brought me the answers I so desperately need to understand my 1st grand child.
I believe she is truly a miracle, and through her pen, GOD has put down on paper the words everyone can use to better understand their own personal trauma, as well as what your loved one or friend is thinking when trauma consumes them.
We met by accident while chatting via e-mail about a common problem, and I sent her a copy of my own book. In return she gave me a copy of her own.
I'm not a real avid reader, but once I started, I could not put it down. As I read, I felt her pain, as though she was sitting beside me telling me her story. As I continued I could see her leaving that darkness and coming back out into the warm sunshine.
I've offered to promote her book and that offer is sincere, I truly believe this book is a must buy and a keeper. It is to be shared, and kept available to read whenever the blues set in.
GOD bless you Sandy, and thank you GOD for sending her to me.
I Also Recommend: A Narcoleptic In The United States Army.
Posted August 4, 2009, 8:52 AM EST: This wonderful book lets you know that you are not alone in the world. The author is a true inspiration!