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Surviving Emily

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4.47 of 5 stars 4.47  ·  rating details  ·  17 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Abigail Hooper and Stephen Sparks had never heard of Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy until one fatal morning in November when it crushed their hopes and dreams. Twelve years after the devastating loss of their dearest friend Emily, they find themselves still affected by the trauma.

Abigail, married and newly pregnant, helps others through her work for the Department...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Dog Ear Publishing
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Community Reviews

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Michelle
From the outset, this was an emotional ride. Imagine losing a best friend and never quite letting go of future dreams and plans you’d made with that person. Heartbreaking.
Surviving Emily looks at some interesting faith issues surrounding death. Throughout the book the characters question their faith and relationships based on the loss of a loved one.
While reading, I could understand why people may also lose their faith because of false perceptions of illnesses – in this case, epilepsy, held by...more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
Losing a friend or loved one at a young age can greatly alter one's life course and even send them on a different path. Best friends Stephen and Abigail lost a best friend and a girl friend one morning when Emily was found dead from Sudden Death related to her disease epilepsy. At first these two friends clung to each other in hopes to help each other cope with the loss, but suddenly their friendship came to a screaming halt.

Told through both friends perspectives, this book was heart wrenching b...more
Susan Anderson
A Heartwarming Story, Impossible to Put Down

Surviving Emily by Laurie Bellesheim, is more than a heartwarming story—it is an event. I cried with the characters, feared along with them, applauded their milestones, identified with their setbacks, and learned from the book.

Backstory: Emily, Abigail, and Stephen were close friends throughout high school, even after Emily became engaged to Stephen. On November 11 of their senior year—a dozen years prior to the story’s present—Emily died of Sudden Une...more
Avid Reader Amy's Reviews
This is an emotional book. You might want to get a box of Kleenex when you start to read it. The story is about three best friends, Emily, Abigail and Stephen. The author takes you through life after the sudden death of Emily. Each character has dealt with the loss in there own way. For Stephen he spent years spiraling out of control with drugs and alcohol. During this time he drove away the last connection he had to Emily, Abigail. A few simple words were said that changed them forever. He fina...more
David Brown
Young lives that are cut short is never an easy subject to write about. You can speculate forever about what might have been for those that have been lost. In Laurie Bellesheim’s Surviving Emily we have two narratives running concurrently of two people struggling to pick up the pieces following the death of someone who was a best friend and a lover respectively.

The novel begins with the death of Emily from SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy). Emily is staying with her best friend Abigai...more
Julie
Synopsis: Abigail Hooper and Stephen Sparks had never heard of Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy until one fatal morning in November when it crushed their hopes and dreams. Twelve years after the devastating loss of their dearest friend Emily, they find themselves still affected by the trauma.
Abigail, married and newly pregnant, helps others through her work for the Department of Children and Families. When a new client with epilepsy unexpectedly forces her to re-examine the past, Abigail re...more
Amanda
So, I've given up on the whole "not reading books that make me cry" thing. Still not my preference, but I'm just reading too wide a variety of books for that to happen. I was braced for crying going into this book, but I don't think I did. I have no idea why, except that possibly it's because I didn't get to know Emily until after she died. Laurie tells us Abigail's and Stephen's stories mostly in the present, with enough memories and flashbacks to have the full backstory. This is a beautifully-...more
Alice Dinizo
"Surviving Emily" is a book that is long overdue and should be read by many, many readers. Good suspense brings the reader right into the story of three high school friends, Emily, Abigail and Stephen. At age 17, Emily dies of SUDEP, sudden unexplained death in epilsepy. She had been taking anti-convulsive medicine, but as she hadn't had a recent seizure, stopped taking her medicine as she just wanted to be normal. Instead, she dies at Abigail's house while living there temporarily. Both Abigai...more
Shalena
I was truly captivated by this book! I loved how the book flowed and that there wasn't any holes in the plot. Abigail truly showed the Christian love for Emily and even after death Emily was continuing to help Abigail through life. This a book I can see myself reading more than once!
Laurie Bellesheim
Oct 06, 2011 Laurie Bellesheim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Full of heartbreak and loss but ultimately hope, Surviving Emily is a compelling story that explores the meaning of everlasting friendship and the healing power of love.
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Laurie Bellesheim, a published poet, belongs to several writers’ organizations including Writer’s Digest, Authors Den and Writing.com. Bellesheim was inspired to write Surviving Emily because she lost a close friend to Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy when she was 18. Before writing Surviving Emily, her first novel, Bellesheim was a social worker for six years, including working with the Depar...more
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“How ironic that there always seemed to be more people welcoming your birth and mourning your death than there were throughout your life.” 6 likes
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