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The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice: A feel good summer romance with angels and fantasy (Angel Aid Book 1) Kindle Edition
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What a great opening line to a story that kept me reading, entertained, and fully engaged from start to finish! In her latest book, author Katarina West has won me over again. The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice takes readers on a journey (several, actually!) that explores themes familiar to most of us at one point or another in life, and it is in making those connections between reader and character where West’s writing really shines.
Whether in the same season of life as main characters Irene or Mimi -- or somewhere else entirely – readers can see glimpses of themselves in West’s brilliantly written characters. The issues and emotions her characters are confronting are heavy, but the book is infused with plenty of humor to off-set those times. Often, it was in the little one-liners that I giggled and related. (Like when a famished Irene says that a chunk of bread is “so tasty that she feels like crying.” Yeah. Been there, done that, felt that.)
The ideas of angels among us and people switching bodies aren’t new, but West takes her premise in an interesting and unexpected direction that is truly memorable. Heaven is possibly as messy and complicated as Earth, and angels like Aaron are as flawed as humans. Readers will never be confused as to who is who once Irene and Mimi switch bodies because West focuses on the mind of the occupant, not the body occupied. Admittedly, some of the hilarious parts of the book are in each discovering her new body.
What is beautiful about Aaron, Irene, and Mimi is that each grows over the course of the story. It is in that growth that I became attached to the characters despite my not initially liking certain aspects of them. Since this is the first book in the Angel Aid series, I look forward to seeing how they continue to evolve -- especially Irene since even at fifty, she is reinventing herself.
Katarina West has a distinct writing style, and in The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice, it’s a little chummier with the reader than in her other books (Witchcraft Couture, Absolute Truth, for Beginners) This casual tone is fun, but don’t think for a minute that it’s not well done. The Helsinki and Little Heaven settings are wonderfully detailed and easy to imagine, but it’s not just in her descriptions of place where readers will revel; some of her sentences where readers are quietly observing really pack a punch.
“His desperate murmur mixes with the chanting. . . and together they form the most beautiful symphony, a rhapsody of hope and change.”
West mentions current celebrities and products which places the story in the here and now, but I am undecided as to whether I like that or not. On the one hand, there is no question about the time frame, but on the other hand, it dates the book and may make it less relevant later. (I suppose since it works for me today, I won’t worry about other peoples’ tomorrows!) Kudos also go out to West for a cleanly edited book that allowed me to read and enjoy the story without distraction.
The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice feels real, even with a fantastical element to it. It left me feeling good. Thoughtful. Optimistic. Hopeful. . . and forgiving. Through the characters’ travails, I realized I need to be more forgiving and accepting of myself and others. We are all in this life together, after all.
Thank you to Katarina West for inviting me to be a beta reader on this book and then providing me an eBook copy of the finished product in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. Read this full review plus additional features on Hall Ways Blog kristinehallways.blogspot.com
Irene is the one who precipitates this when she has Aaron really feel her despair and desire to be someone else. Her life is lost in so many ways. She has become resigned to life as it is but inside there is still fight she just needs a experience outside the norm to realize this. She needs to see from the outside that she is worth it. she has goals and dreams and isn’t one to let go even though in a way she did over time. Her husband is one that angers you. He treats her with indifference until she is no longer around. Her best friend is a selfish person and I love how she gets taught a lesson and has the tables turned and feels the loss and helplessness Irene feels. So for her the change of body gives Irene a chance to be someone she thought she wanted to be. Only she realizes that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But does learn that she is alive and still has fight in her. She gains confidence and accepts who she is. Irene learns to like herself again and want to do something other than let life pass her by. Irene learns to grab life by the horns.
Mimi starts this out as a very selfish and rude person. She lets go of who she once was so she can become famous. In essence she loses the core of her being. So this swap helps her regain that person. She sees what it is like for someone over fifty. How they are treated with indifference. And when you are overweight it is worse. Mimi learns though to live again. To be free of the constraints of fame and see that what is on the outside doesn’t matter as much as what you feel inside. Mimi learns to like Irene look at her life in different eyes. She sees what she became and sees who she wants to be. Mimi comes to find herself and what is important.
Aaron has the most amazing introspective journey. When in human form he learns the consequences of pranks and how much compassion and desire to help humans he has. He learns to do something without wanting anything but to help. Aaron learns what an angel really is. So for me seeing the actions of Nemiel on Aaron was good and bad. Aaron does as well. He sees that although Nemiel is using him for nefarious purposes it is also a blessing in disguise and he can do more good.
The story is one that transforms the idea of seeing things through other’s eyes. Each character gets a lesson in loving themselves, finding themselves and what they wish to be and do. We see them learn about themselves-the good, bad and ugly. They face it head on and take a journey that is awe inspiring.
Katarina has once again given us inspiration and beauty through her writing-showing us lessons to be learned not only by her characters but by us as well. We are taken into the story and this world as while reading. It is as if you are one of the characters and you gain strength as Irene does, compassion and the desire to help no matter what like Aaron does and see the value of others that aren’t famous or thin or young as Mimi does. You get the experiences of the characters through Katarina’s words and it is so memorable and wonderful you won’t be able to put it down. There are fun moments, tender moments and sad moments but no matter what each one has you feel and learn and go on a amazing journey. So look forward to the next to see where Mimi, Irene and Aaron go from here and where the next chapter brings them.
I've never read any of West's books but this may not be the last. Her words painted the setting so beautifully for me and switching thoughts between Aaron, Irene and Mimi without getting lost in the shuffle was a wonderful relief. But overall, I enjoyed this book! It's not everyday you have the opportunity to read 'A Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice," with some Angel Aid, of course!
*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. However, these thoughts and opinions are my own. I'm not required to write a positive review.***