On July 5, 1970, at the age of thirteen, the author lost her mother and two sisters in an Air Canada plane crash. The devastating loss would follow her forever, resurfacing at crucial moments in her life. But in this first person narration, the author describes not only her loss, but intersperses her tale with snippets of the joyful moments in her family life before the crash.

Thus we see the “before and after,” which more fully illustrates the loss.

Her father’s retreat into isolation feels like an abandonment, and when he subsequently remarries a few years later, the author’s hope of a substitute mother is dashed by her stepmother’s coldness and cruelty.

Like many losses in life, the pain resurfaces at other junctures. As if the wound has merely scabbed over and is reinjured with each new hurt. One of the strongest themes in Repairing Rainbows: A True Story of Family, Tragedy, and Choices is not only how painful loss can be, but how one can choose to look ahead and focus on the positives. As a result, the author, who is joined on a seemingly destined journey with her husband, who had lost both of his parents, begins to create a positive path for the two of them and the three children they eventually have. One of her repeated mantras is that we always have choices. These thoughts guide her and her husband in the lives they create for themselves.

A foray into the paranormal through the use of a medium adds a mystical element to this inspirational story, for which I can easily award five stars.