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Angels of a Lower Flight: One Woman's Mission to Save a Country . . . One Child at a Time Paperback – September 16, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416535160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416535164
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a child, writes Krabacher, Playboy Playmate and Miss May 1983, I had promised God that if I survived, I would help other kids survive whatever situation they were in. Abused by her family, a school dropout by 15, Krabacher was ripe for the rich and raunchy Playmate life. Her journey from pornography to philanthropy began when she divorced her abusive first husband and married Joe, a loving and supportive lawyer. A 1994 visit to Haiti led her and Joe to start and fund the Mercy and Sharing Foundation, which soon counted more than 1,800 children in its orphanages and schools. Many readers will find Krabacher's good works, perseverance and Christian faith inspirational. Some will be troubled by her lapses in memory and a disquieting sense that she dislikes adults as much as she loves children. Still, Krabacher deserves respect, having drawn unreservedly on her renown and her purse for this charitable endeavor. B&w photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Memoirs documenting childhood abuse have proliferated, but few, if any, have documented such a dramatic turnaround as Krabacher's. Harshly disciplined by a schizophrenic mother and sexually abused by her grandfather, the author couldn't wait to "grow up and run away." But her first forays away from home followed a difficult route, from modeling to a stint as a Playboy centerfold to an early marriage to a control freak in debt to the Mob. It was after her second marriage, to her divorce lawyer, that Krabacher's life changed so completely. Hearing a church acquaintance describe the dire poverty in Haiti, Krabacher made her first trip there in 1994, seeing for herself Port-au-Prince's "27-square-mile sewer and garbage dump," where children routinely died of starvation and disease. Overcoming bureaucracy and the occasional "bad apple" among those she was trying to help, Krabacher set up Mercy House and offered shelter to 27 orphans. With publicity and funding, that small beginning has given rise to 11 feeding centers, orphanages, and schools, with "no definable end to the Foundation's work." A remarkable and uplifting story. Donovan, Deborah --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is well written.
Asa R. Talbot
This wonderful book is extremely well written and tells a story of pain, love and compassion that everybody should be aware of.
John T. Mccormick
Her book is a must read, but be sure to have a box of tissues handy.
Avid NY Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Albin on November 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I must commend Ms. Krabacher and the editorial team at Touchstone for producing such an excellent product. My daughter and son-in-law have travelled to Haiti several times and reported that the conditions there are simply horrible. Thank you to Ms. Krabacher's organization, the Mercy & Sharing Foundation, for the humanitarian work you are doing there.

As to the book itself, "Angels of a Lower Flight" chronicles the journey of a person who eventually finds her life's purpose through helping others. Susie Krabacher was born with many strikes against her, prediminately a chaotic family situation and a sexually-abusive grandfather. She seeks security and significance through external affirmation, eventually rising to a model, actress, and Playboy playmate and centerfold. She discovers that all the glamor and excess leaves her wounded, searching, and emotionally stranded. Through a strange twist of fate, she decides to travel to Haiti with a friend. Upon arrival, she immediately gets to work and forms a feeding clinic. The work in Haiti eventually becomes her life's work, and she forms the Mercy & Sharing Foundation, which has grown today to include orphanges, schools, and medical clinics.

Ms. Krabacher's story is a satisfying and an extremely quick read. It leaves you thinking and wondering about life's mysteries much longer. A single chapter, chapter 19--titled "One Child"--is worth the price of the book alone. In this chapter, Ms. Krabacher poignantly describes the plight of just one of her orphans, a young boy with a heart condition named Ashley. She tells the story straightforwardly, not exploitingly or carelessly. I won't tell you how it endds, but I will say that Ashley's story reaches straight to the heart.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By billstjohn on January 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Although the words of this story may make for an easy read, the thoughts that those words provoke, and the places they take your mind are anything but. I constantly found myself literally having to put this book down in order for my brain to process the haunting events in Susie Scott Krabachers' story.

In many ways "Angels of a Lower Flight" is like two books in one, the first details Susie's turbulent childhood and then her fast living Playmate days where every physical manifestation of success was hers for the taking. The second, which takes place after she marries her husband Joe, is a no holds barred descent into hellish conditions of Haiti and her efforts to rescue the broken and abandoned children there.

The journey of her life in Haiti that Susie carries the reader through is truly the stuff of nightmares. She is unflinching in describing failure, both hers and that of the country around her. And yet even in the book's darkest parts, such as when she is forced to pay bribes at the morgue to recover the worm ridden bodies of the children she tried to rescue - or the simple burials in Styrofoam crates of little shattered bodies with the touching message, "In this world you were loved," one can't help but feel in a strange way simultaneously uplifted. That for these tiny discarded souls, to be loved so much during their short time on earth is beyond what we have words to say.

But "Angels of Lower Flight" is filled victories too. Thousands upon thousands of children have been helped by Mercy and Sharing, the organization Susie founded in Haiti to feed, shelter and educate them.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Susie grew up in hillbilly-land in an abusive family, and aged much faster than she should have had to. When she was offered a chance to become a Playboy Playmate, she jumped at it---the money and perks gave her a chance to escape her life. Unfortunately they led her to another tragic life of drugs and abusive men.

Finally she got out. She took on little jobs to pay her way and get a divorce from her con-man husband, and she ended up marrying the lawyer who helped her. One day she took a trip to Haiti to see if she could help the poor people there, and her life changed forever.

Mrs. Krabacher unflinchingly shows us all sides of herself, including the selfish, the foolish, and the hopelessly naive. And oh, how naive she was, at so many points. Yet that same naivete allowed her keep trying in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and although the situation is a continual struggle---there is no finish line to announce "she succeeded!"---her organization now cares for more than 3,000 children in Haiti.

Make no mistake---this is an incredibly hard book to read, and the images it leaves in your mind will haunt you after you're done reading it. The living conditions and depth of corruption in Haiti are so deplorable it's almost impossible to imagine. The level of religious conviction Mrs. Krabacher displays might also be uncomfortable for non-religious readers; at one point I put the book down for a bit after she argued that voodoo was behind many of the evils in that country. I'd argue that it's the people who misuse a religion in order to gain power who are at fault.

That aside, however, I can see that it would take deep conviction and yes, even unflagging naivete, in order to experience the setbacks she has and keep going. It's amazing to read about her work, and the bright spots of hope and happiness within it.
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