Published by Five Crow Road Publishing on July 25, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Inspirational, Women's Fiction
Format: Kindle, Paperback
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Avril’s Phoenix by Michelle Harris-Genge
A normal life can be extraordinary.
Avril Bale has a beautiful life with her precious young daughter, a second baby on the way and a caring husband. She has it all, which makes her completely ill-prepared for the tragic loss that completely rocks the foundation of her security, her sense of fairness, and her faith. Each new day, Avril navigates the muddy waters of karma, balance, and belief as she progresses in her suburban pilgrimage towards a path of self-discovery and a new recognition of reality. Slowly, Avril learns to triumph over fear even as she is constantly looking over her shoulder for the next shoe to drop. And through it all, she tirelessly struggles to find a way for hope to fit into life’s new equation.
In addition to her internal conflicts and personal guilt, Avril must deal with family and friends who don’t know how to handle her tragedy. Avril’s interactions with those around her are alternately heart wrenching, upsetting, and sometimes perversely comedic. And with each fresh day, she comes closer to recovery and claiming her new normal.
Follow Avril as she tackles each new challenge with perseverance and humor in a world full of tough questions waiting for understanding. Avril’s Phoenix probes why bad things happen to good people. And beyond exploration, Avril begins to find answers. It is an uplifting, emotional voyage of a woman’s navigation through life following a heartbreak thought impossible to overcome.
Avril’s Phoenix by Michelle Harris-Genge is a touching, inspiring and memorable must read story. The title Avril’s Phoenix, tells you straight away, that although the subject matter of this book might be sad, there is a light at the end. In Greek folklore the Phoenix rises from the ashes of its predecessors. That image is inspiring, and brings hope, as does this touching tale, which is an inspirational, contemporary story about every-day grief and loss.
Avril Bale seemingly has the ideal life. She is happy and content. She has the love of a caring husband, an adorable daughter, and a sister who is also her best friend. Orrie, her husband, has a good job and their life is certainly comfortable. Duet (their daughter) has a list of things to thank God for that is very long, a reflection on how blessed they feel. To make their life even more perfect, Avril longs for a second child. Joy floods through her when she discovers she’s pregnant again, life if perfect! That is until she has her six month scan.
Does God care when we suffer? Is it okay to want to hit everyone who says platitudes like, time is a healer? Does depression stemming from loss ever go away? How do we (if we even do) tell our other children that mommy and daddy are sad because their brother/sister just died? Avril’s story is one woman’s walk through all these questions and issues, and a lot more besides. I love the open honesty of Avril’s walk in grief, comments throughout the book like – “hello God? Do you care?” Just rang true for me. Her outward appearance of thankful politeness, whilst an inside torrent of screaming confusion and loss is portrayed with great skill. Depression following loss creates a desire to hibernate, effectively hiding ourselves from the world and from our pain. A dark place, but if we search when we’re in it, it becomes a part of the healing process and eventually ends up being the ashes from which we can rise.
Touching on death, depression, and loss of faith Michelle Harris-Genge writes with raw emotion in a way that is surprisingly easy to read. Having had three miscarriages myself I thought I would cry all the way through this book, but it’s not that type of book. It is crafted in such a way that the only time a tear came to my eyes was when I came across a most beautiful and touching line. Shining a spotlight on this tender subject, in a heart-warming way, Avril’s Phoenix by Michelle Harris-Genge comes highly recommended by Artisan Book Reviews. ~Book reviewed by T N Traynor fo0r Artisan Book Reviews.