The following letter is one that I wrote to an author by the name of Lurlene McDaniel. She writes very dramatic stories. I wrote this letter for a contest and I was encouraged to enter it into the Advocate. I encourage you all to read Lurlene McDaniel’s books. They’re really worth reading.

Dear Mrs. McDaniel,

I have very much enjoyed reading your books. They are always impossible to put down! I love how there is always tragedy in your stories. Your book Garden Of Angels is the book that I really related to.

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. It was a time of hope, fear, and sadness all at once. Your book really touched my heart. My mother actually picked it out for me once she was doing better. She tought it would be very appropriate for the situation I was in. When she first handed me the book, I had no interest in it whatsoever. I wanted my mother to be well. I didn’t want to dwell on the illness any more than I needed to. Finally, I just started reading it. Garden of Angels was the first book I read that was written by you. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. I loved how Darcy’s family was so close; they were always willing to give up something for someone they loved. Since that time, I have read Garden of Angels over and over again.

Perhaps my favorite part of the story wasn’t included in the story itself. My favorite part was the letter that you write to the reader at the start of the book. Your afterward touched my heart deeply because I realized how many ways we were alike. My mother is still living today, but she was sick for so long, all of us were very scared. At the time, I was only eight years old, my brother was five, and my sister was a baby. We didn’t really understand what was going on because we were so young.

I believe that there is a gold thread between all of those who experience the trauma of having cancer or even knowing someone who has had it. Your books are a source of hope for anybody who knows someone who has cancer or for anyone who has cancer themselves. I have read about seventy-five percent of the books that you have written, and I am constantly putting them on my library’s “wish list.” Many of my friends have also been persuaded into reading them, by me of course! Seven of them are reading your books for their book reports. I think that people like your books so much because they are so deep, and there is always a beautiful ending. I really hope that you write more books, because you should know that many, many people love them!!

Garden Of Angels is personally my favorite book that you have written because it relates to me so much. Many people know somebody who has breast cancer, unfortunately, and many can relate to this book. I also think that many can relate to this book because of the fact that Adel’s husband is in the war. In society today, so many people have something to do with the war in some way.

As I look back on this tragedy, I realize that there was actually a good side to this awful happening. After going through all that we did, our family became a lot closer to each other. Having someone be diagnosed with cancer made us realize how fortunate we really were because the most important things was that we had each other. I think the moral of life is that you never know when you are going to lose somebody you love, so you have to appreciate them while you can. Everybody should be kind and helpful to others because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

I appreciate your book, Garden of Angels because it really made me realize that these things can happen. I think that Garden Of Angels should be read by all. Thank you so much for writing it. Garden Of Angels changed my life.

Most Sincerely,

Theresa Therriault

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