Book Review: "The Guardian Angel's Journal" by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

Summary from Goodreads: After her death, a woman is sent back to life as her own guardian angel in this lyrical first novel that examines questions of fate, free will, regret, and hope.

Returned to earth as her own guardian angel, Margot Delacroix, now named Ruth, watches herself, through her own birth, a troubled childhood, her first love, her son's birth, and, ultimately, her own untimely death. As she passes through this second chance at life, she must re-experience and record her biggest mistakes and her deepest regrets. As she relives her life, Ruth tries to change it and, in the end, prevent her own death. Ruth also tries to prevent Margot from ever falling in love with her husband Toby -- and eventually falls back in love with him herself.

A love story that proves that love is stronger than death, The Guardian Angel's Journal is a rich, lyrical novel that examines the questions of fate, free will, faith, and hope. This story asks readers to consider what they would change about the life they've already lived.

Many people go through life wishing they could change past events in their life. This book takes that concept in a whole new level. Reading this book was unlike any other story I have ever read. I'm not really big into stories about angels. I have nothing against them but they're just not my cup of tea to read in books normally. However, Carolyn Jess-Cooke takes guardian angels and puts a different spin on them that I found most intriguing.

Margot has died and has becoming Ruth, a guardian angel. She is now the guardian angel of her own self and is forced to relive her life. However now she has the power to protect herself and even possibly change things to alter her future. Her ultimate goal is to find out how she died and if someone killed her. As she goes throughout her life, she is immediately flooded with memories as she relives events and also sees things from a different perspective.

The chapters when Ruth has to look over Margot as a young child are very difficult to read. The child abuse and torture that happens is horrible and it's terrible to know that stuff like this actually happens in the real world. Of course there is explanation behind the actions of the abusers but it still does not excuse their actions. Guardian angels throughout the story are allies with each other as they do what they can to protect their charges. It's interesting how almost everyone has an angel and who their angel is not always the person you most expect.

There are fights with demons and other forces that Ruth has to battle. She also struggles with a lot of human emotion as she sees her ex husband and her son again. There's a lot of sacrifice on her part. It's very hard to write about this book without giving away too much. I felt very moved while reading the story. Margot's previous life was very sad. The life from Ruth's perspective gave her a new chance to change things. The protectiveness she had for her son showed her willingness to see outside the box and display the love that had always been inside her.

Even though this book is published by Guideposts, I do not consider this book to be Christian fiction at all. It's more literary fiction with paranormal elements thrown in. I cannot wait to read what Jess-Cooke has in store for the future.

The Guardian Angel's Journal by Carolyn Jess-Cooke is published by Guideposts (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. Anonymous12:18 PM

    This sounds really good! I can say with absolute conviction that I do NOT want to come back to earth as my own guardian angel after I die.


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