Title: Vital Sign
Author: J.L. Mac
I used to have a great life. My little world was bright. I had no complaints. My perfectly simple life made the fall from grace that much more devastating. I plummeted from the heavenly little bubble that I shared with Jake. I fell fast and hard straight into the fiery pits of hell. The knowledge of how things used to be is a bittersweet torture that refuses me even one moment of respite. I live in a painful reverie that I can’t escape.
I had it good once.
That’s gone now.
All of it disappeared like vapor into the ether. I’m a lost woman, wandering through grief and struggling to come to terms with my new title: widow. My family says I need understanding and closure. I say a cigarette and a bottle of wine is a much better option for instant gratification.
I’m the awkward, depressed one standing in the corner making everyone around me miserably uncomfortable. I’m the one with vacant eyes that society strives to help but can’t. I’m the one who hands out tight smiles and derisive snorts. I’m the widow adrift in this world with no direction. No meaning. No hope. No vital sign.
Sadie sets out on a journey to healing without knowing that things will get far worse before they get better. Despite her general indifference to organ donation, she finds herself on a journey to seek out the only people who benefited from her husband’s tragic death.
Resentment runs rampant as she meets the thriving organ recipients. Anger and jealousy spiral, sending the delicate structure of Sadie’s emotions into a tailspin.
Alexander McBride got a second chance—one that he didn’t necessarily want. Alexander is a game changer for Sadie. She hates him for his health but can’t help feeling at home in his presence. He soothes her grief in a way that is intoxicating, addictive even.
The heart that once fell in love with her now resides in Alexander McBride’s chest. It’s a circumstance that forces her to wage an internal war fueled by grief, anger, guilt, love, lust, and loyalty.
Sadie must discover the things that are vital to going on with her life if she has any hope of finding her way through the all-consuming grief that dominates every waking moment.
Review by Michelle
If you are in need of a good cathartic release Vital Sign by J.L. Mac is just what the doctor ordered. This book is gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, and ugly cry inducing all in the name of love, loss, and healing. Vital Sign is a beautiful story about traveling the road to recovery, acceptance, letting go, and finding happiness when and where you least expect it.
It’s not often that I am torn apart by a prologue but within the first few pages of Vital Sign I was left reeling and knew that I was in for one turbulent emotional ride. Thereafter the stages of loss that Sadie traverses as well as her reactions to her grief were powerful, relatable, and completely heartbreaking. The trauma and aftermath that Sadie experiences is so honest and raw. There is, of course, utter hopelessness and devastating sorrow but also an uncontrollable anger and bitterness that lends sincerity and reality to the story making everything about Vital Signcompletely heartfelt and genuine.
I was surprised to experience Zander’s perspective and I really loved occasionally seeing things from his point of view. I especially appreciated that Zander’s viewpoint was only included when it was absolutely necessary and that not every detail of every encounter is rehashed from both sides making the glimpses into Zander’s thoughts extremely significant and highly anticipated.
The storyline was fantastic and the struggle that Sadie faces every step of her journey was authentic and admirable. Vital Sign is stirring and inspirational, beautifully written, and profoundly thought-provoking.
He looks at me, taking his time as his eyes drag over me from head to toe. “Not so smart today, Sadie.”
“What?” My eyes widen a little showing my confusion.
Zander’s eyes glance to my free hand. “No mace.”
I lower my head looking to my empty hand. “I’m not scared of you,” I admit, inwardly wondering exactly what that means to me.
“Are you sure?” Zander’s voice has taken on a sultry, husky tone.
“Yeah,” I breathe.
“Maybe you should be.” An unmistakable look of regret fills Zander’s eyes, making me curious where it has come from. Seeing that look on his handsome face makes me want to make it better. It makes me want to pull him to me, to wrap myself around him and vow on my life to guard him from all the bad that the world has to offer.
About the Author
USA Today Best Selling Author,J.L. Mac is twenty-seven years old and currently resides in El Paso, Texas, where she enjoys living near her family. She was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. J.L. admittedly has had a long and sordid love affair with the written word and has loved every minute of it. She drinks too many glasses of wine on occasion,and says way too many swear words to be considered “lady-like.” J.L. spends her free time reading, writing, and playing with her children.