Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love

Anna Whiston-Donaldson. Convergent, $22.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-6014-2519-5
In this powerful debut memoir, blogger Whiston-Donaldson tells the tragic story—of the death of her 12-year-old son Jack. The author is an emotionally insightful guide to the territory of grief. She notes the relationship of grief and shame, the comforts and sorrows of sex, and the hideous fights between bereaved parents. From its disarming opening sentence (“I thought the first book I’d write would be about painting furniture”), the book avoids sentimentality. The book is well paced—the reader knows from the start that the author’s child is dead, but doesn’t know precisely how he dies for some chapters—and is underpinned by a steady drumbeat of faith, as Whiston-Donaldson negotiates a new relationship with God after Jack’s death. She feels deeply loved by God, “almost as if I’m wrapped in a soft, cotton batting,” but she is also “disappointed and hurt... and the only broken body I can picture right now is Jack’s.” Whiston-Donaldson’s compelling account belongs on the shelf next to Richard Lischer’s Stations of the Heart. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-60142-521-8
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-60142-520-1
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