HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Out of Life’s Darkest Hour: In Poetry and Prose
Author: Brian V. Sullivan
Cover Illustrator: T. Sean Sullivan
Publisher: So and So Printing, 2019
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars =NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Sullivan, Brian V. Out of Life’s Darkest Hour: In Poetry and Prose (Published in 2019 by So and So Printing, 146 Mill St., Springville, NY 14141). I have known author Brian Sullivan for over forty years. He is a gospel preacher in Canada who has also done much preaching in the United States. It was probably in the mid 1970s when I first met him at a lectureship conducted by the Thayer St. Church of Christ in Akron, OH. I first remember hearing him preach in a gospel meeting at nearby Tallmadge, OH, in September of 1977. After that, our paths would cross from time to time. In August of 1993, I was invited to participate in a lectureship at Wellandport, Ontario, Canada, where Brian was located at the time. Though we did not stay with Brian and his family, we did get to meet his lovely wife Laverna. Then in April of 2004, Brian spoke in a gospel meeting at Affton, MO, where I was then located. Laverna came with him, and they stayed with us. We really came to know and appreciate them both during that week.
On April 20, 2014, Laverna Sullivan passed away very suddenly at the age of 66 on a Sunday afternoon. In addition to being a preacher, Brian is also a poet. Out of Life’s Darkest Hour is a collection of poems which Brian wrote from 2014 to 2019 to chronicle his grief over that tragic loss and his recovery from it through trust in God. It not only stands as a loving tribute to his wonderful wife but also is designed to provide some measure of strength and comfort to those who are in similar circumstances. Each poem is accompanied by an essay which describes the experience which prompted it and a word of encouragement to others who are mourning the loss of a dear loved one. Brian writes, “Losing a spouse or loved one opens a new realization. This is my real journey through loss, grief, and eventual rebuilding. There is light at the end of the tunnel of darkness, and hope beyond what appears to be over-whelming sadness when death calls….Please join with me in discovering the steps toward my new normal and the healing that must be achieved.”