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A Short Life Well Lived

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The Advocate



A Short Life Well Lived by Tom Sullivan

Reviewed by Lisa Lickel

"...a great fictional complement to the growing library of realistic fiction."

A Short Life Well Lived is an achingly realistic novel about a family’s life and loss and the lessons of not always getting the miracle you ask for.

I had to flip back several times to make sure I was reading a novel as I skimmed through the Introduction and opening chapters. Sullivan, who is blind, pens the tale of a blind attorney and his traditional family so well and true I thought it might have been nonfiction.

Brian O’Connor has everything going for him, nice family, loving wife, the ability to function in society without eyesight, even coaching his son’s baseball team. Brian treats faith as a sideline issue while his wife, Bridgette, challenges him. Both are generous in sharing their talents. When tragedy strikes their son, do they cave as many families would when facing insurmountable odds, or do they dig deeper and find the true Branch to graft on to?

Sullivan begins the story with a prologue that is really the end of the story. The back of the book clearly tells the reader that their young son Tommy is stricken with cancer. The book is a faith journey beautifully written with nothing of the pain, fear, doubt and anguish left out.

Excellent for those who like the style of nonfiction authors Laura Hillenbrand or Janette Walls, A Short Life Well Lived is a great fictional complement to the growing library of realistic fiction.

Lisa J. LickelLisa Lickel lives in Wisconsin with her high school teacher husband in a 150-year-old Great Lakes ship captain's house. She is active in more than one historical society, belongs to writing and reading clubs and is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin, the magazine of Wisconsin Regional Writers. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, she has written newspaper features and magazine articles, radio theater, and authored several inspirational novels. Find her online at http://lisalickel.com, http://wisconsinauthorreview.blogspot.com, http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com, and Facebook.