Thursday, September 20, 2012

Love seen from Heartache: 5 Star Review

Title: Love seen from Heartache
Author: John Emil Augustine
Publisher: self
Genre: Biography

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The follow-up to Love Seen from Hell, LOVE SEEN FROM HEARTACHE finds Augustine once again as the main character, struggling to make a new beginning after the events of book one. Poignantly honest, his first-person narrative delves this time into the definition and purpose of modern marriage; into its meaning and relevance based on his own triumphs and failures. Pulling from previously gained wisdom and acquiring new pearls in the face of new events, Augustine steers his narrative effortlessly through a captivating new chapter filled with drama and hard-fought lessons. Nothing is sugar-coated and everything is told unabashedly and exactly as it happened. A must-read for lovers of fiction and non-fiction alike. John Emil Augustine has been a landscaper, musician, English professor, mail carrrier, forklift operator, and is the father of four boys. John writes and performs in his spare time. “Love Seen from Heartache” is his second novel. 

I opened the front door of the Blazer, and slowly walked into the main entrance of North Memorial Hospital with my fist thrust into the middle of my sternum. Patients waited in chairs to my left. Nurses and staff walked casually yet deliberately here and there. The main desk was in front of me and I walked up and said in a raspy voice, “My chest hurts.”

“Ok,” said the woman behind the desk, “Where does your chest hurt, sir?”

“Everywhere. I think I’m gonna pass out.”

Things happened quickly after that. I was almost immediately brought a wheelchair and I sat down. I was briskly wheeled into a room very near the entrance and helped onto the bed. Instruments were hanging everywhere. All kinds of tubes and metal stands were wheeled over to my bed and I was hooked up to an IV in no time. My shirt was unbuttoned and my chest was shaved in a few spots. Soon I had stickers everywhere, all attached to wires which lead to monitors. The staff, about five people, worked quickly. It was a fast shuffle they all performed rapidly and effortlessly, discussing in small snippets as they went.

I was given something to put under my tongue and that was the first I realized what was going on. It was Nitroglycerin, the same thing they had given my grandpa when he had his heart attack. “Am I having a heart attack?” I asked a nurse.

“We don’t know yet, but we will find out soon enough.” She went on with her work. They were doing many things at once and I was somewhat oblivious. All I knew was the pain and now the thought that perhaps I was having a heart attack. This was just great.

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My Review
"Essentially, love has to come first, and love can only come from intimacy, from deep communication. Love will heal its holders if they come back to it. You have to walk toward love even if you can hardly make half a step at first. That half step will feel like you are caving in. You are. Caving into love can be ok if the love is met equally; if both sides can communicate unhurtfully and legitimately. You’ll know if love is not held by your partner. You’ll know if your communication is not being met equally and deeply. After a few times around, you’ll know. You bang your head against the wall like my Minneapolis neighbors or like Cindi and I had a few times, and it will become clear that things are not equal. But you have to give it a real try first – both of you. You have to come back to love and see if you can both make it happen. Baby steps. The relationship, the intimate communication, has to come first. Communication is everything. Without equal communication, everything goes to hell. With communication, even from within heartache, love can be seen. Marriage is love seen from heartache."
The second book of John Emil Augustine pulls you into his life from where he stopped in "Love seen from Hell" A biography of his struggles about life, God, marriage, relationships and intimacy. In the first book we get to know him as a man that struggled with his first marriage, love and divorce. While being the father he longed his son must have. Setting aside his own feelings and emotions for a woman he met during this trying times. A woman that showed him what love was all about. 
Meeting Jan and her son Andy in this book. Deciding that this was it and he hopped on a plane to meet her for the first time. To begin their own family after long Internet mailing. Once they established a family unit rules had to be laid down for Andy, not use to have a father figure around. John was firm and direct and the kid was smart learning quickly he had to change to fit in. But this knew relationship brought in a whole new set of twist and turns and a few times it caused him to reflect on his life, the meaning of his marriage with Jan. His job as a teacher or "babysitter" Charles his son from his first marriage and Cindi who still played her part. Bullying. The anger and betrayal he felt after the affair with his best friend. Ultimitly forgiving her to become the family he always wanted. It really touched my heart. The struggles with inadequate income working three jobs to keep the family together and the crash down when it all fell apart. Financial burdens can bring huge strains on the whole family, the constant fear that no matter what you do you will loose everything hangs over your head 24/7. Add that with a partner who is self absorbed and you can have a huge mess. John held nothing back as words tumbled on the page in great detail and coloring. But in the process he and Jan learned to be one, the reason for marriage. Working together and not separately as a team. a Marriage is about 100% giving and taking. Wise words from my father-in-law on the day of our marriage and still true today after twenty eight years. Jan really came to the table and for that I have to amend her. She knew she made a mistake but she also knew she was the one to mend the riff, bringing them closer maybe in an unconventional way but it worked. She had the wisdom and the patience to work it through with him. Her courage and love for him shining through the dark clouds.
The book will shock you in many ways. His thoughts about God and his own roll in it. His frankness and blunt no nonsense way of writing bringing a tale of sorrow, survival and love. Their live becoming a beacon of hope and love.
A very good read. Well done John

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