The Mourning Parade book cover, water color cover, elephants, trees, walking along path

The Mourning Parade

by Dawn Reno Langley

Release Date: 7/18/2017

ISBN: 9781944995232 | eBook ISBN: 9781944995300

Where do you go when you've lost everything?

Single mom and veterinarian Natalie DeAngelo lost everything the day her two sons were killed in a school shooting. Following her psychiatrist’s advice, she decides to sell her once-happy home to escape the immense pain and grief of living there alone.

Desperate to find relief from her unspeakable loss, Natalie impetuously commits to honoring her boys’ memory and volunteers to assist philanthropist Andrew Graham at his elephant sanctuary in northern Thailand.  All she wants once she gets there is relief.

But she soon realizes she may be in over her head when she faces three major challenges: her debilitating PTSD is creating night terrors; Peter Hatcher, the sanctuary’s irascible in-house vet, has a longtime grudge against her and wants desperately for her to fail; and Sophie, a female elephant with a raging leg infection and PTSD caused by human abuse, is demanding that Natalie use every trick in her veterinarian’s black bag to heal her.

Dr. Hatcher wants to euthanize Sophie, as he claims she’s a lost cause, and Natalie knows she must find a way to convince the others to let her keep trying. Can she and Sophie find a way to heal together and learn to love life again? Or will another tragedy shatter Natalie’s progress?

This deeply emotional novel explores the capacity of a mother’s love, the challenge of overcoming a devastating loss, and the long, tiresome journey to healing.


Told with authority and fine craftsmanship, The Mourning Parade leaves an impression that lasts beyond its final page.
— Foreword Reviews

About Dawn Reno Langley

Dawn Reno Langley has devoted her life to literature and the arts as a writer, theater critic, mosaic artist, and educator. Born an Army brat to a WWII and Korea vet and his wife, Dawn spent her childhood scaring her younger siblings with stories of monsters under the bed. Her first published work, an essay on the Cuban missile crisis, revealed a deep sense of social justice that has never waned. In fact, she has been an activist throughout her life, focusing on animal rights and gender issues. She researched female authors and their voices during her MFA program at Vermont College and transgender authors during her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from The Union Institute and University, a program steeped in social justice. During her writing career, she has written extensively for newspapers and magazines and published more than 30 books (children’s, adult novels, and nonfiction), award-winning short stories, essays, and poetry, as well as theater reviews and blogs.

An academic, Fulbright scholar, and TedX speaker, Dawn lives in Durham, North Carolina.