Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: A Short Life Well Lived

A Short Life Well Lived by Tom Sullivan
Howard Books (June 2011)

About the book -
Brian O'Connor has spent a lifetime proving he can conquer life's trials. Despite his blindness, he's built a sold life with a loving wife, two children others say are as beautiful outside as Brian knows them to be inside, and a thriving legal career in Boston.

But hard work doesn't stave off tragedy. A truth that crashes into Brian's life when his young son is diagnosed with cancer. The long ensuing battle brings Brian to his knees as he comes to terms with his own limitations and his need for faith.

My Review -
Brian O’Connor has been blind since birth. But he’s never let that get in his way or stop him from achieving his goals. He’s a very successful lawyer, a husband, and a father of two kids, Tommy and Shannon. He even coaches his sons little league team. Life has been good for Brian and his family, but an unexpected incident turns their world upside down.

While pitching at one of his games, Tommy breaks his arm. After a series of tests and scans, doctors discover the little boy has cancer. All his life Brian really hasn’t had to rely on anyone else but himself, until now. He feels helpless just watching as his son get worse each day. He finds it hard to have faith and trust in God when he’s never felt the need to before. It’s not long until he realizes he can’t get through this without Him. But there's one question that keeps going through his mind and prevents him from really seeking and trusting God. How can a loving God allow this to happen to his son?

A Short Life Well Lived is a beautifully written, touching novel. This is a heart-wrenching story and it had me tearing up several times. The author is also blind, so everything we read about Brain’s life and experience with blindness came from a real place because he knows first hand what it's like. The characters faced so much pain and uncertainty, my heart broke for them. This was a sad story and the ending wasn’t a happy one, but there was still hope. Brian’s faith might not have been a solid one in the end, but he was on his way there.

There was one thing I didn't like. At one point when Brian was so frustrated and angry with God, he said, “Get off Your a__ and do something! Help my son!” I personally think it was very unnecessary and should have been left out. Other than that, this was a great read. The characters felt real, the story held my attention and I couldn’t stop reading. Tom Sullivan has written a wonderful story about life, loss, and keeping the faith in the midst of a crisis.

Rating - 3 stars

(This book was provided for review by Glass Road PR.)

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