A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

The Joy of Falling by Lindsay Harrel {A Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own. 

Eva and Angela must learn to live again. One step at a time.

It has been fifteen months since Eva and Angela lost their thrill-seeking husbands in a scuba diving accident. Both women are trying to navigate their way through the grief, but neither one is making much progress. Angela is barely making ends meet, angry at her husband for leaving her to raise three children on her own. Meanwhile, Eva is stuck, unable to move forward after losing the love of her life and her source of inspiration.

But then Eva gets a life-changing phone call. Before Brent and Wes died, they had signed up for a race of a lifetime—an ultra-marathon in beautiful New Zealand. Eva begs Angela to run the race with her in their husbands’ place, and Angela finally agrees, hoping to finally understand her husband's choices.

Training is exhausting, and the race is even more demanding. Their journey grows more complicated by the presence of two men—Marc is Brent’s best friend who is running the race with Eva and Angela, and Simon King is a writer who is covering their inspiring story. With every step, Eva and Angela must ask themselves questions that they haven’t had the courage to ask before. As the women literally put one foot in front of the other, they wonder: Is it possible to find their way forward in hope?

Lindsay Harrel is a lifelong book nerd who lives in Arizona with her young family and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. She’s held a variety of writing and editing jobs over the years and now juggles stay-at-home mommyhood with writing novels. When she’s not writing or chasing after her children, Lindsay enjoys making a fool of herself at Zumba, curling up with anything by Jane Austen, and savoring sour candy one piece at a time. Connect with her at LindsayHarrel.com.

Last year, I had the opportunity to read a beautiful story called The Secrets of Paper and Ink. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful storytelling in this book and went on to read another book by the same author titled The Heart Between Us. It didn't take long to realize that Lindsay Harrel had a way of creating beautiful stories that really drew me in and pulled at my heartstrings in a pretty astounding way. When I saw that she had a new book coming out-The Joy of Falling- I could not wait to get my hands on it.

The Joy of Falling tells the story of two sisters-in-law who lost their husbands in a tragic accident. We meet them nearly a year and a half after the fact, as they are still coping with their new normal. When they learn that their husbands had planned to run an ultra-marathon in New Zealand, they decide to take their place as a way of honoring their memory. This trip and their experience is a beautiful story of healing, moving forward and yes, even finding love again. While the idea of picking up a book that on the surface is about loss and grief seems like it would be rather depressing, it actually was a beautiful story of hope and healing that I absolutely loved.

I must admit that I'm always a little apprehensive when reading romance books involving widows...and particularly those with a fairly fresh loss. Obviously, losing a spouse is not something that I have experience with, I always wonder how the author will tackle that new love without diminishing that previous love. To me-again never having been there, I've always just felt it would likely take a lot of time. I feel like the way Lindsay Harrel approached the topic was absolutely beautifully done. Both women (not to mention their mother in law and Angela's children as well) all dealt with their grief quite differently... as is the truth in real life as well.

While there is certainly some romance though, there is so much more to this story than that. It is a story about a journey. A story about overcoming. A story about sisterhood. And ultimately a story about faith and hope. Once again, Lindsay Harrel has knocked it out of the park with this beautiful book.


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