Susan Angel Miller | Permission to Thrive: My Journey from Grief to Growth (LRS Press)

215 pgs. | $14.95 paperback

The title alone caught my attention then the cover drew me in. The tagline “my journey from grief to growth” only sealed the deal. And like that, I was in hook, line, and sinker.

The harrowing tale was an eye opener for sure. As a mother of three girls, Susan Angel Miller’s story hit close to home for me. As a parent, it dips into every parent’s greatest fear: losing a child unexpectedly. Miller’s survival, her tenacity, and her courage to be exactly whom she needed to be will have you cheering her on as her journey progresses.

I cried through the first half of the book. I also didn’t care that I went through a half a box of tissues either. Heart-wrenching, vulnerable, and agonizing are the words that shape this story, a story not to be forgotten and meant to uplift the lowliest of hearts and circumstances. Permission to Thrive delivers on its promise.

For me, not being a practitioner of Jewish faith, it was refreshing to have terms set in italicized font, the definition given right after for clarity. That alone felt as if Miller understood that not everyone who read her book would understand her faith, but she welcomed them in as if they were a part of her journey. Written to touch all walks of life, this book is a powerhouse of emotion. Anyone walking away from this story would be remiss if it didn’t touch them in some way, shape, or form.

To say I’m a fan would be an understatement. Believing that sharing our journeys with others will empower them on theirs is a must. Choosing to do so in our most difficult times speaks to our own growth as a people.

Her understanding of her own journey and how she managed it under the worst of circumstances is a testament to the human condition. Her story is that of survival, compassion, love, forgiveness, and, in the end, finding her moment, the one precious to her, where she gave herself permission to thrive. That, in and of itself, makes this story priceless. That is when she became the hero in her own story, and that was simply the best. | Keva Bartnick

Permission to Thrive author Susan Angel Miller is appearing at 10:30AM on Monday, November 4th at the Staenberg Family Complex, 2 Millstone Campus Dr. in Creve Coeur, as part of the 41st Annual Jewish Book Festival. For more information on the festival, visit and stay tuned to The Arts STL for more on the festival.

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