Book Reviews

Crissi Langwell- A Symphony of Cicadas



“When you’re inside the world, you can only see what’s right in front of you. But on the edge of the world, you can see everything that’s going on in it.” – Joey Ashby

Rachel Ashby was truly happy the day she and her thirteen-year-old son Joey died. Rachel owned a successful flower shop, she was engaged to an amazing man who was building their dream home, and her son and his son were warming up to the idea of being part of a blended family. One minute, she’s laughing with Joey, and the next minute her car is careening off a cliff.

After the accident, Rachel finds herself caught in the in-between, a magical but melancholy place between Earth and Heaven. To make matters worse, Joey’s spirit is no where to be found. Her late aunt Rose arrives as her spirit guide , explaining that she’s been waiting for Rachel and her sister Sara. She says that Rachel’s spirit will stay in the in-between until she’s ready to sever her ties with  Earth. Rachel has two main reasons for remaining in the in-between. For one, she has to find her son’s spirit. For two, she’s compelled to watch over her fiance John. Unable to locate Joey, Rachel becomes obsessed with John.  Rachel is saddened yet comforted by John’s depression over losing her, which I think would be a natural reaction for most of us. (I know that if I were in Rachel’s position, I’d watch over my husband and expect him to mourn for sometime over my death). But as Rachel’s spirit clings to John, she realizes how much pain its causing to them both. Eventually, she makes peace with her death and leaves the in-between for Heaven.

I hadn’t realized how much A Symphony of Cicadas touched my heart until I found myself thinking about it days after I finished reading it. In fact, I squeezed my husband extra tight before I left for Pennsylvania for the weekend, and did the same with my brother and parents before I left their house to head back to Virginia.

Towards the end of the novel, Rachel says “In my death, I discovered what it was like to truly live.” I hope that I don’t feel that way after I pass on, and I have a feeling that I won’t.




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  1. Thank you for sharing this! I am eager to read it!!!!

  2. Wow! That sounds depressing, emotional and amazing. I guess that’s what we’re looking for in reading.

    If you are thinking about it a few days after you read it, then it’s definitely worth reading.
    Katie Cross recently posted…Book Review: The SelectionMy Profile

  3. Oh my gosh! I didn’t even know you wrote a blog post about my book! Thank you so much Kristy! This is such an honor, and I love that you loved the book!
    Crissi Langwell recently posted…Taking a short breakMy Profile

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