Review - Growing Only Dandelions by Joan Hugues

By Carmen, 24 June 2019
My Copy of the Book

Year Published: 2018

Genre: Novella


“Growing Only Dandelions” is an inspirational story of a woman who has a near-death experience that propels her on a spiritual and emotional journey. This unconventional supernatural manuscript dares the reader to consider the possibility of a present and loving God through a narrative that triggers one’s imagination to question every action and inaction. Bethany, a wife and mother, is enjoying a beautiful day at the beach with her family. She falls asleep while her husband and son swim in the ocean. Awakened by the winds of an approaching storm, Bethany is alarmed by how dangerous the water has turned. She frantically searches for her family before rushing to the water and jumping into it. Bethany struggles against the treacherous waters and slams her head against a reef on the ocean’s floor. Falling unconscious, Bethany says “I never saw a more brilliant light.”

Bethany opens her eyes in heaven and her spiritual and emotional journey begins. They swiftly walk alongside an endless stream of people shuffling forward slowly in a single filed line. Some of them are curious and reach out their arms to touch the woman being chaperoned to the front of the line. Upon contact, their “ugliness” (i.e., personal, shameful life event) is revealed to Bethany. A person calls out to her by name. Bethany recognizes that it is the voice of her estranged father. Her hatred towards him is palpable. He steps off the line and touches her wrist transporting her mind back in time to when her “ugliness” started as a young child from his abuse. Throughout the novel, Bethany is transported back in time to those milestone moments in her life that shaped her own “ugliness”. Growing Only Dandelions highlights the presence of God through strategically placed relationships, purposely left “signs” and guardian angels, all of which are gifted to us through his grace.

About the Author:

Joan Hugues is a first-time author making her publishing debut with Growing Only Dandelions. She lives in the United States on Long Island within the state of New York and is married to Jay, her High School sweetheart, for over 25 years and shares three children together - Jason, Jake Ryan and Juliet. Joan works as a Paralegal at a law firm and is the founder and President of JT’s Law Foundation Corp., a not-for-profit charitable organization that advocates against child food choking through education.

Connect with the Author:

Twitter: Joan Hugues Twitter

Buy the Book:

Amazon: Amazon Purchase Link

My Take on the Book:

A lot of this book is spent with Bethany recounting some of her childhood and coming to terms with some of the things that happened in her life. I would have liked if the author had told more of Bethany’s present story, and recounted little bits and pieces of her past throughout the book.

Despite that, this was an intriguing and quick read. I ended up giving this a 3.5 star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Last Word:

This was an interesting first book – and I’m intrigued to see where this author goes with her writing career.