Tag Archives: Grief

Review: The Invisible Husband of Frick Island

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island
By Colleen Oakley
Berkley, 9781984806482, May 25, 2021, 368pp.

The Short of It:

This book was everything I wanted and needed in a story.

The Rest of It:

Piper Parrish lives on a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay. She is well-loved by the island inhabitants and is overall, a very happy person. She works a few jobs and spends her days going back and forth between those obligations. But no matter how she keeps busy, she is constantly reminded of the one morning her husband Tom went out on his crab boat and never returned. The boat capsized, and his body was not found.

Anders Caldwell is a struggling journalist trying to garner a little bit of a following by hosting his own podcast and writing about local events. One such event takes him to Frick island. Frick is small, less than 100 people call the place home and it’s disappearing. Literally disappearing due to climate change and erosion. Anders decides to spend some time on the island to get the scoop but what he finds if much more interesting.

You see, Piper’s husband never returned but in her mind, he’s never left and is still by her side. The entire island goes along with it and Anders decides that this, THIS is his next big story. The story that will take his podcast to new levels and he’s not wrong.

Oh my word, what a book. I loved this book to pieces. It’s a sweet story about love, loss and moving on with your life. I could SEE these characters so clearly. Their quirkiness, their sense of humor but mostly the love they have for Piper. You could call this story a romance, but it’s so much more. It’s about community and loyalty and watching out for the ones you love. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy. It comes out this week! I highly recommend it.

Source: Review copy sent to me by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Beauty of What Remains

The Beauty of What Remains

The Beauty of What Remains
By Steve Leder
Avery, 9780593187555, January 2021, 240pp.

The Short of It:

I did not expect a book about death and grief to be one of my favorite reads of the year.

The Rest of It:

As the senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world, Steve Leder has learned over and over again the many ways death teaches us how to live and love more deeply by showing us not only what is gone but also the beauty of what remains. ~ Indiebound

The Beauty of What Remains is my book club’s pick for March. When I picked it up, I really had to push myself to read a book that is essentially about death and the grief that follows it. Death is depressing to me. It’s probably depressing to most people but this book is incredibly uplifting and hopeful. Leder, having sat by thousands of deathbeds as a rabbi knows a thing or two about death but it never really dawned on him what true grieving was until his own father passed away from Alzheimer’s a few years ago.

Death is a great teacher if it impels us to serve the living. ~ Steve Leder

Through anecdotes and real life experiences from those who have sought his counsel, Leder provides a revelatory look at how death can look to loved ones who are forced to face it. It doesn’t have to be the sad, depressing life passage that we’ve come to expect. Leder provides a different viewpoint, one that focuses on the good and his easy, affable way is like the hug you never knew you needed.

“We are helpless in death, but we are not helpless in life.” ~ Steve Leder

I’ve heard countless times how people need comfort reads right now. This pandemic is finally showing signs of moving on and yet, we are still a little raw and on edge. Comfort reads, food, the warm embrace of a loved one (once vaccinated) are all things we need right now. If you don’t think you can get anything out of this book because you haven’t lost anyone recently, think again. Leder’s writing can help you through any loss and we have all experienced loss lately. He has this amazing way of putting things. I would love to just sit in a room with him and listen to him talk. Here’s a clip from the Today show that effectively illustrates what I mean.

The Beauty of What Remains is a beautiful book. It’s funny and hopeful and a valuable resource for anyone who has ever wondered what to say to a friend after they’ve lost a parent or a child. It’s filled with heartwarming examples of how loved ones can be honored before and after death and includes very practical information for anyone who has to plan a funeral or a celebration of life. This stuff is gold. I never thought a book like this would end up on my list of faves for the year but it’s earned a spot on it. I highly recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.