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Flowers from Afghanistan

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Weighed down by guilt following the death of his two-year-old son, Mac McCann accepts a year-long position training police officers in Afghanistan. Leaving his wife Sophie to grieve alone, he hopes the life-or-death distractions of his self-imposed exile will build a wall between him and his pain. 

As camaraderie builds between Mac and the men on base—including a local bar
Paperback, 282 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Harbourlight Books
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Average rating 4.53  · 
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Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
3.5 stars

Flowers From Afghanistan – Suzy Parish’s debut novel – appears at first glance to be a story about how a husband and a wife each cope with the tragic loss of their young son. And it is. But it’s way more than that, too. It’s also an authentic and emotional look behind the scenes of day-to-day life in a war zone, based on camp life in the real Camp Nathan Smith, Afghanistan, and a heartwarming picture of friendship that crosses cultural borders, Yet, at its heart, it’s really a story of
Patricia Bradley
This is Suzy Parrish's debut novel and she nailed it. The opening grabbed me and propelled me into the story. Her descriptions of Afghanistan made me feel I was there, even to feeling the sand in my shoes. :-) Great dialogue between the characters cemented the sense of being a part of their lives.

Mac and Sophie have a lot to work through, and Parrish does a great job of getting them there without being clichéd. The relationship between the men working in Afghanistan enhanced the story and Mac's
Jessica Higgins
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A compelling redemption story for both self and marriage.

After his two-year-old soon is killed in a tragic accident, Mac McCann signs up for a year long stint for overseeing security in a camp at Afghanistan. Mac sees this as a way to get away from his troubles. His wife is distraught that he is leaving but he is hoping that this will be a way for them to heal. But he harbors a secret. He feels that his son’s death is his fault and he doesn’t want to face his demons. Once in Afghanistan, he meet
Glenys Nellist
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's no wonder that Flowers From Afghanistan, debut novel from the pen of Suzy Parish, was awarded a Bronze Medal from the Military Writers Society of America. Based on true events, the story follows Mac McCann as he accepts a position training police officers in Afghanistan. Mac is running from the tragedy of losing his young son, and the trauma caused by it, including his failing marriage. But on the training field, Mac's story turns from tragedy into triumph as he invests in relationships wit ...more
Melissa (Catching Up after a trip to Vegas)
Excellent KU choice--gives good perspectives of what it is like to live and work in Afghanistan. Highly recommended.
Carol James
Aug 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story of forgiveness: I loved Flowers from Afghanistan. It is a beautifully written story about redemption and forgiveness, lost love and found love, and faithfulness during difficulty. Mac's struggle with overcoming his demons was painful and real. It was one of those stories I hated to see end. Maybe Suzy will do a sequel. ...more
Barbara M. Britton
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
Suzy Parish's debut transported me to Afghanistan with Mac McCann, a police officer whose heart is stricken after the loss of his son. Mac fights for forgiveness from his wife, believing he played a part in the accident that took his son's life. In Afghanistan, Mac befriends a barber and his boy, and builds relationships with the men that help train Afghani police. These secondary characters will draw you into their own stories. Even though Mac is far away, his wife supports him and shares her f ...more
Kathy Bailey
Sep 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Flowers From Afghanistan”
Suzy Parish
Mac McCann never thought he’d outlive one of his children. When his son “Little Mac” is killed in a car crash, McCann doesn’t seek refuge in drinks, drugs or despondency. Instead, the Alabama police officer signs on for a year-long commitment training law enforcement personnel in Afghanistan. Yes, that Afghanistan. McCann reasons that the higher pay will help him pay off Little Mac’s medical bills – and escape his guilt.
Mac’s wife Sophie, the love of his li
Deana Dick
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is a look at a marriage that faces one of the hardest tragedies I can think of. I cried when their son died and could feel the turmoil inside them. Mac is one of those people who internalizes things. He keeps them suppressed deep down where nothing can touch it. His wife is struggling as well, but she soon will find out that her husband has checked out.
Mac not only abandons his wife but he takes on a new career in Afghanistan. I know I tend to run from things as well. I keep things hi
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the poignant story of one man’s search for answers. After involvement in a horrific accident that took the life of his 2-year old son, Mac, ridden with guilt, accepts a yearlong position training police officers in Afghanistan. Mac leaves his wife Sophie to grieve alone, hoping to build a wall between himself and the grief he feels. Once in country, Mac becomes involved with the men in his unit as well as with a local barber and his young son. As time passes, Mac realizes that he is not ...more
Patti Pierce
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am the wife of a soldier. We have other family members and friends who have served in the military. So this book was one I knew I had to read since we have known people deployed to the Middle East. The story starts off with a tragedy no parent should have to live with, and that is the death of a young child. The story grabbed my attention from the beginning. Mac and Sophie were people I wanted to get to know.

I found myself unable to put this book down. I also appreciate how once Mac gets to Af
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celebrate-lit
The cover for this book is gorgeous and really drew me in. I wanted to read it as soon as it arrived.

Flowers from Afghanistan is a wonderful book. The characters are relatable and drew me in and it felt like a true story that a friend was sharing.

You’re going to want to read this book. The characters really and truly made me feel like it was a friend sharing their story of healing with me. I think this is a wonderful book that you’re going to enjoy.

I do also need to say that as a parent I cann
Aug 12, 2022 rated it liked it
Storyline: 5 stars
Writing style: 2.5

This one is hard for me to rate 🥴 Clean, faith based read. I really enjoyed the storyline. I felt like I experienced life through the eyes of a soldier, and as a military spouse, I also definitely connected with Sophie. It’s evident the author was an active duty spouse, and I loved that! The interactions and challenges between Mac and Sophie regarding him being overseas, is truly what military spouses go through. The author really captured that, as well as a d
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This didn’t seem the type of story I would be so drawn in to, but the characters made me care deeply and the happenings seemed so real I could hardly believe it was fiction (although based on actual events). Kudos to the author for her fine work at conveying the truth of living through such circumstances. I have friends who have lived and worked in Afghanistan, so that gave me a slight background to what it’s like there. Experiencing the realities with Sophie and Mac McCann through their trials ...more
Brent Soderstrum
Feb 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
I won this book through GoodReads First Read program.

This is the story of Mac McCann. He is a policeman living in Alabama driving in the car with his two-year-old son, Little Mac when he gets a text message from a dispatcher he has been flirting with. He reaches for his phone and takes his eyes off the road. His truck is hit broadside and Little Mac dies.

Mac is heartbroken. He leaves his wife, Sophie, right after Little Mac's funeral to train local citizens in Afghanistan to be police. He lives
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Flowers from Afghanistan" by Suzy Parish is a great debut novel. I really felt like I was watching the scenes unfold instead of reading them. The characters are "real" And not just people in a book. I felt the emotions that these characters felt and I cried when there little boy died, I was saddened when one soldier's wife said she wanted a divorce and I cringed when the barber asked for protected for his son against being taken for sex. This novel has a lot of tropics discussed but it also sho ...more
As a debut author, Suzy Parish, has composed an unforgettable novel. The setting in war torn Afghanistan allows the reader to experience the difficulty of finding beauty among so much destruction, fear and hopelessness. One of the statements I especially liked was made by Glenn, a soldier serving in Kandahar - "In the middle of this struggle to survive, man's spirit still craves beauty."

There were so many life lessons woven throughout the book - well done!

Another thought-provoking statement was
Tabitha Bouldin
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Mac and Sophie are the type of characters you will cry with and cheer for. Their love and their struggles are raw, real, and oh, so familiar. You won’t be able to tear yourself away from the pages.

I ached for Mac as he ran from the pain of losing his son. As he built up his walls, Sophie prayed for them to come down.

It doesn’t matter how far you run, God knows where to find you.

I love how differently each character dealt with grief and loss. No two stories were quite the same and the slow build
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully crafted story. Vivid, emotional and leaves you pondering as the story ends.
Both Mac and his wife struggle following the death of their son and this puts a strain. His tour in Afghanistan opens him up to an entirely different environment that changes his perspective and the way he does things. Both he and struggle with forgiveness, with grace and a marriage that is almost on the rocks.
There's healing and redemption though. I love that the author points out grace and forgiveness th
This was an interesting look into the life of an officer in Afghanistan. I can’t imagine the heartache that Sophie and Mac had to have suffered when they lost their child.

I did enjoy the journey their marriage took and how God healed them and worked in their lives.

With that being said, I didn’t really connect with the book. I felt like it was choppy and thoughts or conversations kind of came out of no where. Even the accident with Little Mac seemed cut so short I wasn’t sure what was going on.

Barbara Tsipouras
How do you cope with grief and guilt? Mac decides to run and hide in a Camp in Afghanistan as an instructor for Afghan police officers. In most cases running won't bring healing. Mac's story is different though. Talking with the other men, getting to know the Afghan barber and his son Bashir, near escape in an attack make him not only understand his wife Sophie and falling in love again but also that God has never left him alone and has forgiven him.
Sophie on the other hand is left alone. She h
Karen Malley
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Flowers from Afghanistan was a heartwarming, yet intense read. Suzy Parish does an amazing job writing from the male perspective. Mac’s character and his time in Afghanistan were truly believable. The story transported me to the military base where Mac was living, and I felt his emotions as if they were my own. I found myself rooting for him, worrying whenever danger was near, and cheering whenever he was able to get in touch with Sophie. The characters are realistic, flawed people, and give us ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mac, trying to escape the guilt and loss following the death of his son, travels to Afghanistan to work as a police trainer. The author’s use of sensory details allows us to experience life in that war-torn country. She captures the emotions of a wife left behind to grieve alone. Mac’s journey through grief to recovery unfolds in a beautifully written story. It will stay with you long after the last page.
Mary Albers Felkins
I thoroughly enjoyed this debut, a tender-Army warrior tale through the POV of the hero. His decision to leave guilt behind - or try to - and spend a year serving/training military tactics to nationals in Afghanistan was believable. The description of this gray and war torn camp...and unexpected friendship with the son of the Afghan barber...along with uncertainty as to the strength of his marriage to Sophie, kept me turning pages to a satisfying ending.
Debbie LaFleiche
Aug 22, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I went into Flowers from Afghanistan a little hesitant as neither military nor Christian fiction are topics I am interested in. So I was pleasantly surprised by Suzy Parish's book. It was not heavy-handed on either issue. It was a nice read about the fallout of losing a child and the different ways people cope. In the case of the main character, Mac, he fled the grief and guilt. But time and people he meets along the way help him. I'd recommend this uplifting book to other readers. ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a wonderfully written book that is a shining example of how God will work all things out if you will let go and let Him. This book has action, suspense, heartbreak and romance, I read it in one sitting. You don't want to miss this book. Thank you Pelican Book Group via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of this book. ...more
Carol James
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Flowers from Afghanistan. It is a beautifully written story about redemption and forgiveness, lost love and found love, and faithfulness during difficulty. Mac's struggle with overcoming his demons was painful and real. It was one of those stories I hated to see end. Maybe Suzy will do a sequel. ...more
Vicki Carson
Jul 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book and touching at times!

As a gift, this book found its way into my hands and I loved it! Great story, the author lives in Huntsville and I live near by! I like several reference to things from nearby and have never read anything about Afghanistan! This book was well written, faith and hope were ever present and ill remember this for a long time
Jul 24, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story about a couple going through a hard time int their lives and their marriage following the death of their young son in an automobile accident. Mac takes a job in Afghanistan training police officers leaving Sophie alone. Flowers from Afghanistan is about their journey toward healing and back to each other and faith in God.
Marcia Rogers
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming story

The story grew on me as I got deeper into it. At first I had trouble getting drawn in because of the first person narrative. Once I got used to that, I didn't want to put it down. Hope there will be many more books by this author.
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Christian Goodrea...: Flowers from Afghanistan Release! 1 7 Jul 07, 2018 06:55PM  

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Suzy Parish is an award-winning author with Pelican Book Group. Her debut novel, Flowers from Afghanistan, was awarded a bronze medal by the Military Writers Society of America. Flowers also made the longlist of the INSPY Awards. Suzy wrote as a Community Columnist for the Huntsville Times and has been published in Splickety Magazine. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

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