I must admit, I have been a bit unglued the past weeks as the reviewers are reading my book and preparing their blurbs for its cover. Grief, for me, was the ultimate confrontation with vulnerability: I was destabilized and confused and I couldn’t keep the damn water flowing. Having others read about my grief has triggered that frightening word that I associate with fear. Fear of being hurt again, others not meeting my needs and of the water staying permanently frozen. But huzzah! The first reviewer has called me “plucky” and I am going to embrace that! Here it is, from Julie Neeras, a spiritual director, ordained minister and former professor at Hamline University. Julie is also the author of Apprenticed to Hope: A Sourcebook for Difficult Times; Seeing the Sacred: A Year in Snapshots, and Hope and Poetry: How they Sustain Us.
Review of Susan Huehn’s book A Widow’s Guide To Becoming a Handyman.
This is a compelling and candid love story about a cross cultural romance. It’s also an immigrant story, which carries the remnants of war and loss, and the difficult work of bridging very different temperaments. Finally, it is a beautifully written eulogy to Klaus, whose abrupt death left his wife and their children bereft. A seasoned nurse, and educator, she felt competent at work but “unmoored with sorrow” and unsure at home. Her endearing, yet eccentric husband, who had no experience building a house, enthusiastically tore the entire roof off theirs, and it
remained that way for months. When he died, his improvised, makeshift house projects, left her with a run-down old farmhouse, a crippled septic system, and equally crippling self-doubt. Yet she responds to “the assignment fate” had given to her, with courage and pluck. This is a wonderful, memorable read.
Julie Neraas is a spiritual director, ordained minister, and former professor at Hamline
Thank you, Julie, for your time and my new “plucky” identity.