Paperback: 225 pages
Publisher: Red Hen Press (November 7, 2017)
When Anne Edelstein was forty-two, her mother, a capable swimmer in good health, drowned while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. Caring for two small children of her own, Anne suddenly found herself grieving not only for her emotionally distant mother but also for her beloved younger brother Danny, who had killed himself violently over a decade before. She finds herself wrestling not only with the past and her family’s legacy of mental illness, but also with the emotional well-being of her children. Part memoir and part meditation on joy and grief, the book will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to come to terms with their parents, their siblings, their children, and their place in the world.
About Anne EdelsteinAnne Edelstein has worked in the book publishing business for over 25 years, as an editor and then as a literary agent. She grew up in suburban New England as the eldest of three siblings. When she was 28 she lost her brother to suicide, and 15 years later her mother drowned at the age of 68. These two tragedies gave rise to Lifesaving for Beginners, which is her first book. She lives in New York with her husband, and spends part of each year in Barcelona. She enjoys drawing, reading, writing, and traveling, and is an avid swimmer.
Visit Anne at her website, anneedelstein.com, and connect with her on Facebook.
This was not an easy book for me to read. The subject matter of the book is not the issue, the problem was my own personal feelings because of what is going on in my personal life, at the moment.
First and foremost this book is a memoir, so if you're not into memoirs you might find it a bit hard to enjoy. I personally love memoirs and learning about someone's life told through their very own experiences and thoughts.
The memoir is about the author's journey through grief. Anne Edelstein lost her mother to an accidental drowning, while on vacation in Australia. Losing someone you love, is excruciatingly difficult, but when it's a sudden, unexpected death, I can't even imagine how that must feel.
This is not just her recollection or story about her mother, but death in general because she's had to deal with it over many years, through different family members passing, more specifically her younger brother Danny, who committed suicide a decade before.
If you don't know, I lost my grandmother 3 months ago. We were very close and she was one of the women in my life who most impacted me. Just 10 days ago, we lost our pug Bella.
My life recently has been about grief, about missing those we love and struggling to go on from day to day, still being a mom and a wife and homemaker, but also trying to make sense of it all.
I really enjoyed this book, though like I said in the beginning, it was quite difficult to read at times because of where I am in my life at the moment.
Nonetheless Anne Edelstein brings forth a brilliant memoir of pain, of family relationships, grief and the journey through it.