Book Review

Life is Beautiful!

In the memoir, Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God, author Sarah M. Johnson shares her personal journey of surviving a horrific plane accident where she lost both her father and brother. While heading for a humanitarian mission trip to Guatemala, their small plane crashes in a remote village, leaving eleven of the fourteen passengers dead.

This captivating account takes you through the heart-wrenching moments of the accident when she finds her father and brother dead while she is desperately trying to rescue her mother, who is trapped in the plane about to catch on fire.

Sarah leaves to get help as the plane explodes and hears her mother screaming for help. We learn that her mother survives but is badly burned. At only 19 years old, she is suddenly forced to manage life on her own, care for her mom, make funeral arrangements, learn to pay bills and find a job.
Book review of life is Beautiful by Sarah M. Johnson

My heart ached as I read of Sarah’s painful experience. It’s more than a story about a plane crash. Sarah invites you into her life before and after the accident. Right before the accident, her relationship with her father is mending from his previous drug addiction and being absent most of her life. When he gets sober, he seeks to become a better man and father.

After the accident, she desperately misses the friendship she shared with her brother and the renewed relationship with her dad. Sarah goes into a downward spiral of alcohol addiction. Yet, even through her ups and downs, she is always searching to hang onto the beauty she sees in life and the God she seeks to understand.

God sends people along her path to comfort her, causing her to want to search for a connection and understanding of what she refers to as her “higher power.” As she prays, reads books, attends church and goes to therapy, she begins to turn her life around. 

I found myself unsure and wanting to know more of what Sarah meant in referring to God as her “higher power.”  I hoped that by the end of the book, she would discover the joy of salvation that comes through a personal relationship with Jesus, believing that Christ died for our sins and rose again. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit who gives us the power and strength to live for him. 

Although I would have liked to know more details about her faith and beliefs, I was deeply touched by her ability to never give up hope and to use her pain to make a difference in this world.

She shows that no matter how tragic your circumstances if you get the help you need and do the hard work, you can find joy again and see that life is still beautiful. I read this book in a few hours because I couldn’t put it down. I would give Life is Beautiful five out of five stars.

I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I linked up this review at Quick Lit.


About the Author:

Sarah M. Johnson is currently a graduate student seeking her Marriage and Family Therapy degree. She will graduate in 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. After graduating, she plans to open up a private practice office and guide those who are seeking their own self-discoveries of love and happiness.

Sarah believes that adversity is a gateway for change, and that through the difficult times of sorrow, loss, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, disease, or other mental illness, we can use this adversity to self-explore and change for the better. We must not run away from the adversity, but face it, heal, and use this particular adversity as a learning lesson.

We all have the capacity to be happy and love ourselves; but we must utilize all necessary support systems, medical professionals, mental health professionals, Religious affiliations, (and many more that I am not mentioning) to help us find the Power Within. The Power Within helps us to accept our adversity and create necessary change for a life of love and happiness.

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Sarah Johnson

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