On December 14, 2012, a young man by the name of Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut and opened fire on two classrooms full of first graders. The victims numbered 27. Eight little boys, 12 little girls, 6 women who worked in the school and Adam Lanza, who turned the gun on himself in the end. Among the dead was a beautiful 6-year-old girl named Emilie Parker. This is her story.
As the mother of one of the children who died at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, Alissa Parker had her world shattered by a mass murderer's rampage. She was left to make sense of her daughter's life and death and to rebuild, seeking a deeply spiritual path to carry on with her life and find new meaning and purpose.
As a co-founder of SafeandSoundSchools.org, a touring national advocacy group that helps people take action to make schools safer, Alissa has talked to hundreds of parents around the country about her ordeal and how she was able to endure the unspeakable horror of Sandy Hook.
This is the first book about the school-shooting tragedies with a focus on faith and spirituality. As we learn Alissa's story, we are introduced to a special little girl who was wise beyond her years and whose lessons about life and the transcendent power of love continued even after she had passed away."
I just don't even know how to write a review about a book like this. My throat swells and my eyes fill each time I revisit Alissa's story. The day that Alissa lost her sweet daughter was a day like any other. In fact, she was shopping when word reached her that there had been a shooting at school. Fighting panic, Alissa made her way to the school where she was shuffled to a room with the other parents to wait to pick up their children. Hours later, she would learn that Emilie would not be getting picked up that day...nor would any of her classmates. They had all been killed by gunshot wounds.
How does one move forward after something this tragic and unfair? The only thing Alissa could do, with her husband Robbie, was pray. They desperately needed God's guidance and reassurance that everything was going to be ok. He blessed them with a strong sense of peace and made it possible for the family to put one foot in front of the other.
While her grief made it nearly impossible to function, Alissa still had to learn to live again. She had to learn that there are some things that even a Mom cannot protect their children from. She had to overcome the guilt that she couldn't save her daughter...and that she wasn't there to protect her. She had to learn how to function in day to day living. How to engage with her other children. She had to learn how to find a new normal.
This book is a whole-box-of-tissues read. But, it's not all tragedy. Alissa & Emilie give you triumph in the face of great odds and demonstrates that love really does conquer all.
You can purchase An Unseen Angel and a big box of tissues from your favorite retailer.
Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my very own...