Reviews and Testimonials


"Every parent everywhere, no matter the age of their child will identify with this family’s journey. It’s a book for dads, moms, brothers, sisters and extended family. Susan writes with candour, testimony, good humour, and a pilgrim soul. Her stories will remind everyone of precious, forgotten moments in their own journey."

Al Etmanski

Community Organizer. Social Entrepreneur and Author

"This book is a loving and truthful testimonial to family, in all its various complexities. Let's not fool ourselves, parenting is exhilarating and frustrating, sometimes it even feels like madness. At its worst we fear for our children’s futures and belabour the mistakes we have made. Susan Dunnigan’s exploration of parenting her son, whilst learning to understand, accept and, eventually, celebrate his neurodiversity is a testament to human connection. Susan successfully avoids the pitfalls created when authors romanticize disability creating the kind of saccharine ‘inspiration porn’ that minimizes the journey many families take. A worthy read about real life."

Nicola Fairbrother

Consultant, Researcher and Agitator

Warrior Angel should be read by any professional working within the field of developmental disabilities. In addition to deepening our understanding for the experience of families with whom we have the privilege to work, Susan and the Dunnigan family have graciously given us two more gifts with this book. One is a gentle, honest but authoritative critique of some of our professional shortcomings and simple ways we could do better for our families. A second gift is greatly expanding the horizon of what is possible when a family has the humble desire to seek an ordinary life.”

Dr. Susan C. Petryk

MD, FRCP(C), FAAP, Developmental Pediatrician

"Susan is an amazing author and storyteller who describes the journey of accompanying her son Matthew on his life’s journey. The stories vividly describe her son’s zest for life, gifts, talents, and struggles to have access to the good things in life that most people yearn for and have in their lives – a good education, friends, employment, home, the roles of brother, grandson, uncle, student, employee, neighbor, citizen, acceptance and inclusion in the society. Despite Matt’s gifts and desires, he often has to struggle to obtain those things that most citizens take for granted because of stereotypes and prejudice that exist in society about people with disabilities. Susan vividly describes the ups and downs of Matt’s journey from a variety of perspective’s—Matt’s, his family, and people within Matt’s community. Susan’s writing style is engaging and draws the reader into the story. Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down.

Lastly, the metaphor of Warrior Angel is one that all readers can identify with. Each of us have warrior angels who walk with us on our life’s path. The stories in this book are rich with insight, passion, and lessons. They are an encouragement to each of us to reflect on our own journeys as individuals, as family members, and citizens."

Darcy Elks

Parent, Advocate and International Consultant

"In this beautifully written and articulate book, Susan describes her family’s journey in search of the “ordinary” and its meaning in the context her son, Matt, as well as his own journey in negotiating life on his terms. Matt was born with William’s Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that adversely affects cognitive, emotional and physical development. Susan describes the heartache, the pain, and the joy that her family endured in passionately pursuing a life of inclusion for Matt. Susan's heartfelt insights to her advocacy on behalf of Matt, and the gains and losses that the family encountered are retold with the sharp recollection that only a parent possesses. This is a book that portrays unwavering championship, unconditional love, loyalty, and the amazing results of achieving the extraordinary for Matt. In the end, Susan is an inspiration for all who read her words."

Lee Hagen, LLB

Child Welfare and Family Law Lawyer

"This book does not romanticize community life, nor question its many benefits. However, it adds a very valuable and granular sense of realism about the hardships and risks that are entwined with the jewels. The book reads well, as each chapter cumulatively adds to the breadth and depth of Matthew’s journey. Each includes many surprises, growth and meanings, such that by the time the reader gets to the end, they realize anew just how much drama and interest can be contained in everyday life moments and incidents. That sense is added to by the mounting discovery of just how interesting Matthew and the people around him turn out to be. While it is certainly true that Matthew does live with a disability, it rapidly recedes as a pertinent factor for the reader as they become progressively drawn into the many dramas and events of his life. His personality, spirit and management of his life are what engages, as does how they shape the lives of the many people and events coming and going in his life."

Michael Kendrick, PhD

International Consultant, Author and Speaker

"Telling stories is one of the most powerful ways to teach others and open doors to possibilities. This is a warm, inspiring book filled with hope, compassion, resilience and the ultimate lesson of never giving up! I laughed and I cried throughout this book.... sometimes at the same time!"

Era Rowles

Entrepreneur, Mentor and Educator

"Dunnigan's book Warrior Angel is a must-read for anyone facing the challenges of raising a child with developmental difficulties. The Dunnigan family, far from seeking special status for their son Matt, simply wanted him to be treated like any other child. Neither did they want to coddle their son; like any 'normal' child they hoped to raise him to become a mostly self-sufficient adult responsible for his own choices. Dunnigan deftly uses dialogue to illustrate the frequent misunderstandings the family confronted when dealing with uncomprehending individuals and system representatives. The author avoids the trap of dry, technical language, crafting instead a family narrative with the quality of a lucid memory that welcomes you inside."

Sean Arthur Joyce

Author and Poet

Warrior Angel is a beautiful book full of the richness and power of a mother's love. We all wonder how we might respond to a significant challenge in our life. Susan Dunnigan accepted the challenges of a child with a disability with grace and courage. Angel Warrior is the story of a mother's determination to see her son live an ordinary life.”

Joanne Lynam

Author, Advocate and Parent

"Warrior Angel is a must-read for advocates of inclusion and ordinary lives. It made me laugh, cry, get angry, celebrate and commiserate. Susan made me question whether my brother is living his best life and how I can be more creative in supporting that."

Vickie Mancini

Sibling and Advocate

"Reading it felt like I was sitting at the kitchen table visiting with an old friend. I have had many friends over the years who have had children with disabilities. They all have handled their lives differently. This story let me see first hand more of the hurdles and triumphs they experienced. I really enjoyed this book."

Kathie Keith

Grandmother and Ally