In my latest writing adventure, I have been accepted by Hay House Publishing Company as a book reviewer! This is a good feeling for me as not only do I get to stretch my writing chops a bit, I also get to choose which new books I’d like to review! I love it!
For my first official book review, I chose Lillie Leonardi’s recent release “In the Shadow of a Badge.” Here’s a bit about the book and my thoughts regarding Lillie’s story.
Ms. Leonardi worked in law enforcement and was the first female responder to the scene at Shanksville on that fateful day of 9/11. She was the Community Outreach Specialist for the Pittsburgh Division of the FBI and as such, was one of the first to witness the crash scene in that lone field. As she surveyed the barrenness of the landscape, she was overwhelmed by what WAS NOT there. There were no bodies and very little left of the plane and crew of Flight 93.
Lillie chronicles her story beautifully, delving into her law enforcement background and the prejudices that women face in such a male dominated field. There was no place for emotion, crying or falling apart by what she saw.
However, as you can imagine, the sheer sight of the crash scene floods all of the checkpoints she had developed to deal with such tragedies and loss. Her emotions overwhelm her as she gazes upon the sight, wondering how anyone could do such a thing in the name of God. Then, a light comes upon the field and a vision unfolds in front of her eyes. A legion of angels appears, led by the Archangel Michael. “This archangel stood with confidence, radiance, and an aura of leadership. The saber in his hand angled toward the ground in resting mode. I knew instantly this had to be Michael, for in my Catholic upbringing the Archangel Michael had always been depicted as the warrior. He was also known as the guardian of law enforcement.”
When the vision disappears, Lillie wonders if what she saw was real. She asks God to show her a sign that she was not just dreaming. A bible on the ground, barely singed by the flames of the crash, blows opens in a sudden wind. It stops on Psalms 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd…..” This is her sign. The confirmation of a miracle.
Lillie holds onto the vision of angels but doesn’t tell anyone about it. For years. Finally she is diagnosed with PTSD and thus begins the long road of recovery stemming from years of denial and fear.
What touched me deeply about this book was the depth Ms. Leonardi was willing to go into her soul to tell this story. She reaches into herself again and again to face her fears and tell her story. Her law enforcement background makes a fascinating read and the effect that 9/11 had on her daughter and young granddaughter is poignant, one that any mother will deeply relate to.
My favorite chapter is entitled “Superwoman Has Left the Room.” Lillie wishes to remove her symbolic uniform and cape and ask her old persona to feel safe to return. As those of us who have been through a life changing experience can attest to, it is through the shedding of our previous self that real healing and spiritual awakening can occur.
I loved the spiritual lift this book gave me. I encourage you to read and enjoy it AND be transformed by it. Here’s the LINK.
And of course, here is my disclosure per Hay House. I get to choose the book I wish to review, it is given to me free of charge, and I am not compensated for my endorsement of this book. This review is my personal opinion.
Thanks for joining me on my first book review! What are you reading these days?