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Book Review: The Summer Called Angel by Sola Olu

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The Summer Called Angel is a heart-wrenching (but ultimately triumphant) story of a family’s journey through the experience of preeclampsia and two premature births.

For those editorially-minded: Read past the missed punctuation and bridges; they’re frustrating sometimes, but the story is ultimately worth it.

For fellow emotional readers: I wept over Angel’s infantile struggle to survive on a day-to-day basis. It reminded me of watching my grandmother waste away from Alzheimer’s and having to put my beloved dog to sleep—the helplessness of both the parents and the child was too much for me. I quit reading as a consumer; I finished as a reviewer.

However, I am glad I could witness this amazing series of events. My hat is off to Sola Olu for her courage. This is an important perspective of prematurity that I had not experienced and needs to be shared. I appreciate the network of support from friends, family, doctors, charities—it truly took a village to see Angel and her family through their myriad of struggles.

Olu prayed to God “why is this happening?” and her answer was “that my name be glorified.” Indeed, with what Olu has done with her experiences to help others, it seems she has made the promise true.

The Summer Called Angel is deeply spiritual, celebrating the divinity of love, of modern medicine, of the human spirit, and of the biological process that allows for a person to endure so much at such a young age and still rebuild, still thrive. It’s miraculous, regardless of where the divinity comes from, and it’s empowering.

(Important spoiler: Angel is a happy, healthy, ever-feisty girl who has read her story several times over. It will strengthen her through anything her future holds; what heartbreak or challenge could possibly rival her fight for life?)

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About Joanna Celeste

Joanna Celeste is at heart a storyteller, writing reviews, short stories, poems, articles and the occasional novel-in-progress, as well as interviewing others to discover their point of view, in the celebration of story. She welcomes emails from her readers at joanna_celeste [at], though she is currently booked for reviews through to January 2014. Visit her at