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Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff

Those We Love Most (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Lee Woodruff

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975124,414 (3.89)3
Title:Those We Love Most
Authors:Lee Woodruff
Info:Voice (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, 2012

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Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff (2012)



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This was my first book by Lee Woodruff and I enjoyed it. It was a little depressing at times; however, shows how families get through challenges and obstacles without walking away.

The story goes back and forth from the mom and dad and at the same time the daughter and her family. "Those We Love Most" chronicles how these unforgettable characters confront their choices, examine their mistakes, fight for their most valuable relationships, and ultimately find their way back to each other. It takes us deep into the heart of what makes families and marriages tick and explores a fundamental question: when the ties that bind us to those we love are strained or broken, how do we pick up the pieces? I look forward to reading more from this author! ( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
I anticipated being deeply affected by this book because it centered around the death of a child; however, I never felt connected with the parents or grandparents of this child. Their grief should have been palpable, and it wasn't. Each of the main characters grieved in a self absorption that excluded an understanding of others' grief. The child's mother and grandfather were each involved in extramarital affairs while the child's father existed in an alcoholic haze of self-pity and the grandmother silently observed her husband's affair through pursed lips. This is not a book I will remember. ( )
  pdebolt | Aug 29, 2013 |
Author: Lee Woodruff
Published by: Hyperion
Age Recommended: Adult
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Book Blog For: GMTA
Rating: 4


"Those We Love Most" by Lee Woodruff was really a powerful read. This was a read of tragedy not just for one family but a extended family. This was a very realistic read that could happen to any of us...a death of a child. Yes, this novel will be of 'loss, grief, love and two families who are really suffering from it all. We find the mother had been having a affair, while the father was a alcoholic....and the grandfather who was having a affair with the grandma seemed to just take it in as a martyr...What a group of people...Will there be any change? This author did a wonderful job with his detailed dialogue showing much compassion. Who knew that this child's death(James) would charge everything for this family.. breaking them apart but putting them back together again? I found the characters all interesting in that even at the end I am not sure there would be a change for Maura, Roger, Roger,Margaret ...or Julia. Kinda leaves you wondering long after the read.

Did I find "Those We Love Most" a page turner?...Yes...it was a dramatic experience to read. Would I recommend....YES! ( )
  arlenadean | Mar 21, 2013 |
I really, really wanted to read Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff - mostly because I enjoy a good drama centered around the overcoming of a tragedy. So when I saw the summary and the author combination here I couldn't wait to crack it open and get emotionally involved.

There were things that Woodruff did extremely well in Those We Love Most - those being the tension between family, the struggle to put the pieces back together, the vulnerability after walls come down in grief. I felt intimately connected to every member of the family at different moments throughout the book. But in spite of that intimate connection, I still felt as if I was held at arms length.

I think ultimately where the breakdown occurred was in the number of people Those We Love Most dealt with. There were some family members who were on the outskirts, just barely into the story and, as a result, made me feel as if I was still a stranger to what was going on - but the juxtiposition then of having other family members bared completely to me made me feel as if I wasn't a stranger. So ultimately I ended up slightly confused and unable to connect. I just can't think of a better way to put it.

I still recommend reading this book - I think it has some important messages on dealing with grief and guilt, and what happens when trust starts to fracture. I just wish it had been easier for me to connect with. ( )
  TheLostEntwife | Sep 23, 2012 |
I love a book that has such powerful emotional honesty that you just can't help becoming invested in it. CBS This Morning journalist Lee Woodruff's first novel, Those We Love Most, is one of those books.

This is a multigenerational story, about Maura, wife and mom to three young children, and her mother Margaret. A moment of inattention by Maura forever changes their lives, one that will cause her to feel incredible guilt and pain. The tragedy that follows is compounded by the secret of betrayal that Maura carries.

Margaret is a rock for her daughter, doing all she can to get her and the family through the aftermath of a beloved child's death. She loves her husband Roger, and when he faces a health crisis, she is also forced to face a secret that he has been hiding from her, one that if she were honest with herself, she already knew.

This is a novel about how hard it is to be married, and the resilience of the human spirit. Margaret describes her life with Roger after many years together:
"The patterns and paths of their life together, especially in the past decade, had become more and more divergent. She had her set schedule: gardening, bridge, exercise, and the occasional lunch with friends. Being a devoted grandmother, a role of which she was immensely proud, also took up a large portion of her time....But Roger spent too much time in the office at his stage in life, in her opinion."
Margaret is a character that many women will relate to: the one who keeps things together, who never falls apart, soldiers through everything.
"Margaret believed it was wife's job to keep the exterior facade spackled and impenetrable, to prevent the cracks from showing on the outside. In her mind, a classy woman never broke rank."

Maura and her husband Pete had their own problems before the tragedy.
"Things had been operating on this half-speed for a while, Maura acknowledged, each of them heading down an easy slipstream in marriage where the valuable, intimate parts begin to erode in a tidal wave of banality."
Woodruff succeeds in bringing these women to life; indeed, they are women you feel that you know in your own life. Her observations about marriage at its different stages will resonate with many women.

The writing is insightful, and the scenes at the hospital will break your heart. It is clear that Woodruff drew on her own experiences with her husband ABC Bob Woodruff's traumatic brain injuries suffered during the Iraq War to write these emotional passages.

I can't remembered being so viscerally affected by a novel; Woodruff's first work of fiction is emotional, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting. This is a book I will recommend to anyone looking for a story to lose yourself in. ( )
  bookchickdi | Sep 9, 2012 |
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After the tragic death of her nine-year-old son at the hands of her teenage neighbor, Maura Corrigan is swept away in a devastating aftermath of secrets and betrayals that force her to question everything.

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