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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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1026118,402 (3.82)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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Maura Corrigan is walking her children to school when her phone vibrates, signaling a new text message. In the instant she spends smiling secretly to herself and beginning to formulate a witty reply, her attention diverted from her children, the unthinkable happens. How Maura, husband Pete, and parents Margaret and Roger deal with this tragedy forms the central theme of this debut novel.

A passage from the book seems to sum it up nicely: Please kept secrets. People built walls. It didn’t mean they couldn’t and didn’t love with all their hearts. … Maybe silence was a price we sometimes paid for loving so completely, the price we sometimes paid to protect those we loved most.

This is not a plot-driven novel, it is character-driven, and all these characters are flawed. Margaret is maddeningly controlled and controlling. Charismatic Roger cannot bring himself to face his diminishing skills and takes a mistress to keep himself feeling young. Pete has never outgrown his college-boy drinking. Maura bears the burden of a guilty secret, and cannot bring herself to forgive anyone else, let alone herself.

But flaws notwithstanding, they are an extended family and they love each other. The novel covers just over a year in their lives; as they try to recover from the tragedy, they alternately turn to or reject each other in their grief and distress. The reader can only watch them stumble along, hurting one another, understanding one another, forgiving one another.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
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 |
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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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