Monday, December 15, 2008

Review: The Alchemy of Loss by Abigail Carter

About the Book: Abigail Carter is smart, funny, perceptive, and bereft. In the eyes of most, herself included, she had it all- a full life with a loving successful husband and two beautiful children. But in a horrifying instant watched by theworld, it was gone, and her life and her children’s were changed irreparably. How does one learn to live again after tragedy?

My Review: When Lisa of TLC Book Tours first offered to let me be part of this book tour for The Alchemy of Loss, I was hesitant. I have watched some 9/11 families in interviews and documentaries and always end up crying and feeling so much sorrow. December is generally a time when I want to feel a bit more joyful. Lisa assured me that the book was more hopeful than not and since I do have an interest in learning people's stories, I agreed.

I'm really glad I did! This book is very well written and from the moment you are plunged into Abigail's grief, you are also hooked deeply into her story. This is the story of a woman who has suffered a terrible, unexpected, and very public loss. She shares the many different phases of her grief and explorations on how she dealt with the finality of death. These are universal questions, and yet because of the way her husband died, there are some unique aspects to her situation that caused complications or problems not normally experienced.

I have not suffered a loss like this, so I cannot remark on whether or not I also felt this way or that. However, I was really struck by the complicated family dynamics. I think there are many things widow's and widower's experience that might not normally get discussed and I think this book might be of interest to others in various stages of grief. She tells it like it is, so to say. Additionally, it serves as a wonderful memorial to Arron and to his life and the wonderful children he left behind. Anyone interested in the stories of those who died in the September 11th attacks might also like this book.

When Abigail first writes about how she is considering writing but doesn't know if she will be able to do it, I had to say...yes, you can! Because she is a fantastic writer and the book is both smart and easy to read.

There is a lot of sorrow in this book, but it ends on a note of overcoming and hope...leaving the reader feeling like the landing place has been fought hard for and won. Recommended.

You can read an excerpt here. Visit Abby's website here and read her blog! The tour schedule can be found here. Buy the book here.



Anonymous said...

I reviewed this one, too... for TLC. I loved this book and Abigail is just wonderful, isn't she?

Beth Kephart said...

A very nice review...

Anonymous said...

I am in awe of the strength some people have after tragedies like this. Great review!

Unknown said...

A very good review Amy!

S. Krishna said...

I thought this book sounded good, but too heavy. You've changed my mind!

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