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3 out of 4 stars
Review by Scerakor
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The book tells the life story of Mario Guerrero, the author’s father. In chapters one and two, Ms. Guerrero outlines Mario’s life from where he was born, grew up, and the family he built. In order to put food on the table, Mario Guerrero worked three different jobs: Life Flight (helicopter based paramedic service), full-time as a firefighter and paramedic for Provo City, and as a paramedic for the Lone Peak Public Safety District in Utah County. Besides his professional life, he was a valued and respected member of his local church and a dedicated husband and father. The third and final chapter of this book outlines the day when the Guerrero family was turned upside down. Through a recounting of her own experience, news clippings, and firsthand accounts, Ms. Guerrero tells of the tragedy that struck down a Life Flight chopper and its team while they were responding to a call. Ms. Guerrero continues by describing the effects that this tragedy had on her life, some of the things she was able to do to cope with the passing of her father, and some of the cherished memories she has of him.
This book was well written and is able to pull on one’s heartstrings very easily. Many of us are able to relate to the loss of a family member or a close friend and reading the story of the Guerrero family is very touching. As a serving member of the armed forces and one who has several family members in police and correctional services, I know how horrible it is to see a loved one leaving each day for a job where they put their life on the line. The love that Ms. Guerrero had and still has for her father comes out in spades throughout this book and is a beautiful tribute to his life and memory. I liked how she mixes not only her own personal narrative, but also places quotes from family and friends, newspaper articles, poems, and pictures throughout the book. What I like best about this book is the courage she has to put this work together for those around her, including her youngest siblings, in order that the memory of her father may not be lost.
There were just a few items that I didn’t like in this book. One concern for me about this book is the intended audience. This is an extremely personal work and a lovely tribute to the author’s father, but if you didn’t know Mario Guerrero or their family, I’m not sure how large of an interested audience there would be. The thing I liked the least about this book is that there were times in the narrative where the author would switch to a new subject without warning. This caused a bit of confusion, forcing me to re-read the passage to make sure I hadn’t missed something. Perhaps the author could have made use of additional chapters, or a few more sub-headings within the chapters, to avoid these abrupt changes.
I give Heaven's Hero: A True Story a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. The love for her father and the desire to pay tribute to her hero makes this book a very powerful short book which nearly made me tear up several times. I gave the book 3 stars instead of 2 as it was well written and even though I didn’t know Mario Guerrero, Abbie Guerrero successfully made me feel like I could have. I didn’t give the book 4 stars because of some of the confusion in the topics and the fact that I would be hard pressed to recommend this book to those that may not have a connection with the family. This book is ideal for anyone that has ever even remotely known the Guerrero family or those that want to keep the memory of Mario Guerrero alive. If you do not like reading memoirs and did not know the family at all, this book is likely not for you.
Heaven's Hero: A True Story
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Amagine wrote:It sounds like a very emotional read. It will also serve as the kind of book to remind us just how important our familes are and that we should spend as much as we can cherishing them.
Thanks! I hadn't looked at it as much that way but you make a great point. It is just as much a tribute as a message to take advantage of everyday that you have with your loved ones. Thank you for the comment.
Chrys Brobbey wrote:On the contrary, I think this book is for everyone, since grief, and trying to cope with it, affects every family at one time or the other. And this could even have been cast as fiction, which we all read anyway. I can feel the pain and emotion as I read the review, which shows how moving the account is. Mario is heaven's hero indeed, since he died going to the rescue of others.
I agree that this book, especially that of chapter 3, could be made into a fiction based on true events. That being said, I'm not entirely sure that this would fit the original intent of the author. I also agree that books like this can help those dealing with their own grief, but the author here isn't doing that explicitly. Those of use experiencing grief may get nuggets of inspiration (such as writing a tribute, letters to the person, poems, etc) from this book, but it isn't a book on HOW to deal with your grief.