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A Symphony of Cicadas

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Rachel Ashby thought she had it all. She was in the midst of blending her family with her fiance, and mere weeks away from her wedding. After a lifetime of disappointment, everything was finally falling in place.

That is, until she was killed.

Cast into the afterlife, Rachel struggles to hold on to the parts of her life she was ripped away from. As she tries to remain near t
Paperback, 290 pages
Published March 16th 2013 by North Coast Stories (first published March 15th 2013)
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Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)

I never thought of afterlife really. But after what Rachel is going through, it's is so real and related I can barely put this book down. I still have tears in my eyes!

I had never imagine this book would to this to me.

This is refelction of real life!
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2r
I'm whacking my brain trying to think if I've ever read a book that had me in two time zones at once. Sure there were books in which realms were traversed and time stood still but THIS! The story was beyond amazing touching base with questions many men asked since the dawn of time. The themes of death, love, the meaning of life and tragedy all came together in one beautiful, heart-warming story.

The author was amazing in the way she was able to depict the transcendence of time in both worlds tha
Liz Carrasco
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
For full-disclosure, I should share that I am friends with the author, and as such, I actually found myself MORE critical than I might be with any other book that I might pick up. I recognized Rachel and her life history as a reflection of her (Crissi) and struggled with how Rachel (and thus, Crissi) responded to certain situations regarding her journey and faith. As the story unfolded, I found myself engrossed in Rachel's story. I cried in her despair and rejoiced in her breakthroughs. I even s ...more
Debbie Hughes
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Langwell has a gift for creating believable and real characters. I laughed and cried and fell in love with Rachel and her story. I was angry at what happened to Rachel and Joey, how could this story have a happy ending? I wanted to go back to the beginning and change what had happened, I wanted it to be a bad dream. But something strange happened to me, as Rachel struggled and grew, I changed with her. Given the same circumstance would I do the same or as well? I look forward to her next novel.
Katie Talbot
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I just finished reading A Symohony of Cicadas and I am still wiping the tears away! After reading the second chapter and feeling like I was on a cliffhanger, I continued on. I felt heavy with sadness reading on, wishing for different outcomes and really feeling the character's pain. The novel is beautifully written and as it progressed on the feelings of sadness were replaced with feelings of hope and love and peace. What a perfect day to finish reading, being Easter today.
Leah Reise
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A Symphony Of Cicadas" was a cleanly written, memorable and heartfelt story. Even with the wordiness that is expected in a debut novel (which I am also guilty of as a new author), Langwell brings a real-ness to the characters, which is felt in the color and honesty of her writing. I speak of a 'real-ness,' because it is hard to find a book that pulls you into the story as if you were in the shoes of each character—feeling their love and loss, joys and sorrows; and Langwell does this fabulously. ...more
Kristy Gillespie
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
“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 minut
Christy Campbell
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I'm a big fan of paranormal romance and mysteries. This was the first I'd read in this genre that used adult main characters rather than teens. I immediately felt drawn to the plot and remained engrossed in the story the whole time.

The main character Rachel accurately portrays the emotions of a woman who has lost everything and must deal with the consequences of a family moving on without her. Seeing Rachel watch her husband, children and sister share their grief
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An amazing walk through the afterlife - based on a nightmare the author once had while planning her real life wedding. The action starts very fast and it's not something you can just walk off from or put down. The protagonist is relatable and real. All the characters offer a wonderful piece to this puzzle and Langwell weaves them together seamlessly.

There's a bit of the surreal and thought provoking in the afterlife, so sit in and grab a cup of tea or coffee and get ready for this story to stay
Jun 13, 2013 rated it liked it
There were parts that I loved. Then, there were times that I skimmed and felt like quitting. The detailed explainations of her home, son's video game, wedding dress and past tended to drone on and bored me. In addition, I found Rachel selfish at many points. She couldn't leave her fiancé and his kid to find her own child? Hmmm. One thing that was unresolved really bothered me. ******spoiler***** We never see her reunited with her son in the after life or even what happened to him. Everyone else ...more
Patty Beaty
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
an unexpected pleasure to read. I was however disappointed that no more mention was ever made of Joey. I see there is to be a second book that centers on Joey but I feel Joey should have and could have been worked into the ending of this book.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it
it was a very good read it made me cry first and then laugh a little. I will definitely read Crissi's next novel. Get writing!
Don Sansone
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful and profound... I'll be living with this one for a long time to come...
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just weeks before Rachel Ashby’s wedding to John, Rachel and her son Joey are killed in a car accident. She wakes up at the scene of her death, confronted with a new reality complete with new physical laws. In her alternate world, she can manipulate the laws of time and space, traveling to the outer reaches of the galaxy and back in the blink of an eye; she can visit whomever, wherever, whenever she chooses. In spite of the seemingly limitless wonders of this afterlife, Rachel learns that she is ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book through GoodReads First Reads.

A Symphony of Cicadas by Crissi Langwell is a book designed to make you hold your loved ones tighter.

The novel is written in first-person from single mother Rachel Ashby's point-of-view as she excitedly prepares for her marriage to John, single father. That is, until she and her thirteen-year-old son perish in a car accident. Similar to Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, Langwell's tale continues to follow Rachel into the afterlife. Yet Rachel's s
Rebecca Lane
Really enjoyed this book overall, I would give it 3.5 stars!

I did struggle to keep going at times, almost like I wasn't drawn in enough. I think this is partly due to the predictability of some of the events.

The book had a very sad tone to begin with but did gain a higher purpose as the plot unfolded.

The book itself is well written and very easy to pick up from where I left it due to other demands.

I would recommend this book and will be reading the sequel Forever Thirteen.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I mean, of course I love this book. It's not only an awesome story, but it's a book I wrote. ;-p
Germanio Puglio
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
What happens in the afterlife, especially to ourselves and what do we feel? Truly a book that made me think about well, everything. A few ramblers unfortunately but no biggie. Recommend.
Experienced Tutors
What a great read. Extremely thoughtful, sensitive and thinking. Deals with many issues that we all wrestle with throughout life. Beautiful.
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Crissi Langwell is the author of 11 books across several genres. Her passion is the story of the underdog, and her novels include stories of homeless teens, determined heroines, family issues, free spirits and more. She writes romance, literary fiction, magical realism, women's fiction, and young adult. Beyond writing, Crissi is an avid bookworm and yoga enthusiast. She pulls her inspiration from ...more

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