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Guest Review | Afraid of Everything


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 in 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. She is at last ready to live. But first, she must wake up from the coma.


By: Melissa Bennett

In “Afraid of Everything”, we are taken on a journey with Helena who has become increasingly anxious about everyday things. Anxiety is a term thrown around loosely but I think Karen Jones Gowan did a nice job helping the reader understand anxiety is real, life changing and at times debilitating. When Helena senses she is getting too far out of her comfort zone, she pulls back, and the anxiety latches on.
We see Helena attempt to step out of her comfort zone by seeing a therapist to help push through the barriers her mind is setting out for her. This is a huge step in the right direction as Helena realizes she needs help. Once her therapist starts challenging her, she pulls back. It’s as if she is trying to stall her progress and is content in her anxiety. One day, tragedy strikes and Helena finds herself an accident victim and in a coma. During her time unconscious, she wrestles with the demons she has been battling her entire life. She finds herself challenged and forced to take the step that normally sent her mind and body running the other direction. Helena had to learn to trust on this journey. It became apparent while Helena was in a coma that she led a calculated life and as a result her heart wasn’t as open as it could have been. This resulted in relationships becoming superficial and I sensed Helena was lonely even in the company of others. This is a book about self-discovery, love, acceptance, and trust. While this book is a work of fiction, as a reader, I walked away from this book with an open heart and the desire to live life to the fullest.


Author: Karen Jones Gowen
Paperback: 285 Pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (October 7, 2014)


To win a copy of Afraid of Everything please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway contest closes next Friday, March 20th at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

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Author Bio:

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 Eveything.

Catch up with Karen:

Thank you!

Thank you to Karen Jones Gowen and WOW! Women on Writing for generously connecting me to Melissa and for offering this book for a giveaway.

If you’d like to join in on an upcoming tour just stop by their sites and sign up today!

About My Reviewer, Melissa Bennett:

Melissa is a mom, wife and marathon runner. While she is not working, she is spending time being active with her family or travelling. Melissa is from Manitowoc, Wisconsin and has three children: Mackenzie, Sean and Isabella.

She blogs about her running adventures at:




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