Book Review and Giveaway: Afraid of Everything by Karen Jones Gowen


Afraid of Everything is a touching and expertly written book about the life and experiences of Helena Carr as she explores an intriguing new world.

Helena Carr is afraid of everything. After a crisis at work, she quits her job and feels lost. It’s time for a serious change, to beat the extreme anxiety that has plagued her since childhood. Something different, unplanned and radical. Sell her house, move to a foreign location, turn her life upside down in an effort to end the emotionally paralyzing fear.

Before Helena can act on her options, however, she has a terrible accident on a Southern California freeway. Instead of going on an exotic vacation, she is in a hospital, in a coma, traveling to strange worlds of another dimension, meeting people who seem to know more about her than she knows about herself.

As Helena explores this intriguing new world, she realizes the truth about her past and the purpose of her future. And she is no longer afraid. Helena is at last ready to live. But first, she must wake up from the coma.

Release Date: October 21, 2014
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli
Afraid of Everything was such a neat book.  I really enjoyed it.  The premise is very intriguing and unique, especially for Christian fiction.  It's one of those stories that stands out in the genre, and one I know I'll never forget.

The book started out a little slowly.  I wasn't sure about Helena or how engaging her story would be.  Then, the story took off and I fell in love with the characters and the story line. 

Helena is literally afraid of everything.  She's spent her entire life anxious, afraid, and unsure of herself.  Helena has built up a protective wall around her heart and guards it at all costs.  This leaves her very alone, and even more afraid when her fears start to come true (the thinking of believing something will happen can cause it to actually happen is the case with Helena's life).  But then, Helena is involved in a car accident, and that's when her story really changed.  Suddenly, the narrative changed from first person (Helena's voice) to a third person narrative.  This change really threw me off at first, until I realized that Jones changed narratives to fully portray the events that occur in Helena's Great Sleep. 

And speaking of the Great Sleep, this was such an interesting part of the story.  Helena calls her coma the Great Sleep, and in it, she travels to mystical worlds, sometimes alone and sometimes populated by other people---some of whom she knows.  And they all seem to know her.  She's not sure if she's in Heaven or not, but she loves it there.  Helena's Great Sleep was my favorite aspect of Afraid of Everything.  I loved the imagery and the way Jones used this part of the story to weave everything together.

The conflict resolution was perfect for the plot.  I loved it.  And the ending was everything I wanted it to be.  I really loved Afraid of Everything and highly recommend this unique and engaging book.


About the Author:

Born and raised in central Illinois, Karen Jones Gowen now lives and writes in Panajachel, Guatemala. She and her husband Bruce are the parents of ten children. Not surprisingly, family relationships are a recurring theme in Gowen's writing. Her  children’s stories have appeared in the Friend, and her essays in the Jacksonville Journal Courier. Gowen's published books are Farm Girl, Uncut Diamonds, House of Diamonds, Lighting Candles in the Snow, Farm Girl Country Cooking: Hearty Meals for Active Families and Afraid of Everything. She blogs at her website, and at Coming Down the Mountain.
Karen can be found online at:
Twitter:  @KarenGowen
Giveaway Rules:
You must be over the age of 13 to enter.
The hard copy giveaway is restricted to residents of the US only.
The e-book giveaway is open internationally. 
The winners will be chosen and notified via email (from  They will have 72 hours to respond and claim their prize.  If no response is received within 72 hours, another winner will be chosen.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating. Not sure if I'd like it but I'm itching to sample it.


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