Thursday, December 4, 2008

Review: The Alchemy of Loss: A Young Widow's Transformation by Abigail Carter

September 11, 2001 changed Abigail Carter's life forever. In the space of one morning she became a widow, the single mother of two small children and she claimed an unwanted spot at the center of a national tragedy. Though she looked for a book that would tell her that her grief and rage were a natural part of the grieving process, she never found exactly what she was searching for.

Shortly after the second anniversary of 9/11 she sat down and started to write, pouring out the changing difficulties of her emotional life. The resulting book is the one she had gone looking for so many months before. This book is her journey through the sadness, grief, rage and guilt felt when a partner is suddenly and inexplicably lost.

The effects of grief rippled out in a great wave that affected her entire family and their relationships with each other. How do you vent your own grief and anger when you are constantly concerned with everyone else's, your children, your parents, your siblings?

She tells her story in an open, honest voice and the result is a book that is touching and courageous. The roller coaster of emotions, as wrenching as they are to experience, prove to be the crucible in which the future is formed.

I am so appreciative that the author was willing to share her story in this way, it will be helpful to so many people. While I did not lose a family member on 9/11, I am a flight attendant and I lost friends and co-workers that were, as so many others, just doing their job. It could quite easily have been me at work that day and going back to work afterward was one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. I am grateful for this honest story of the process of grief and loss that shows the importance of living in the moment and enjoying every day that you are given.

The Alchemy of Loss is published by Health Communications, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7573-0790-4

Visit the author's blog and website. Her complete blog tour schedule is here.

Many thanks to TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review.


Anonymous said...

That sounds like a powerful read. I'm sure I'd be sobbing before it was over.

Anonymous said...

Is this book a rant and rave, or can people who lost love ones just relate to it? what is it really about?

LisaMM said...

Nice review. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you to go back to your line of work after 9/11.

eban, I don't think it's a rant and rave. You might get more insight into the book from this review on Solomother:

Michele said...

I'm glad you reviewed this. I still to this day don't read/watch anything regarding that day. I think it's been interesting to see how we all as crewmembers have dealt with it differently.

Nicely written review, Carey!

The Tome Traveller said...

Kathy-it was powerful and parts were terribly sad, of course. But also hopeful and life-affirming.

Eban-not at all a rant and rave, although the author is honest about her feelings of anger, as anyone would be who had lost a partner, or any loved one for that matter. I think anyone who has had to go through a loss would benefit from this book. I personally did not lose a loved one. But I lost friends and coworkers and I had my workplace turned into a battleground and so lost the security and faith that I had in it. Rebuilding yourself after a loss is a difficult process and the author explains the way she got through it in a way that I think would be very helpful to others.

Thanks Lisa. And you are right, some of the other reviewers who are widows or single mothers wrote reviews which touched on different areas of the book, what was more helpful to them. I have read several that were very insightful.

Michele - I'm glad I reviewed it too. It is the first book that I have read that concerned 9/11 and I usually turn the channel if I come across anything about it on tv. You would think that seven years would be long enough but for me it still feels like it happened yesterday.

tashiana said...

wow this looks powerful a look at loss from the perspective of someone who lost a loved one in 9/11 very interesting in a morbid way but i bet it's uplifting as a whole

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.