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Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Anna…
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Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love

by Anna Whiston-Donaldson

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Generally when I get a review book, my turn around is pretty quick. However I received Anna Whiston-Donaldson's Rare Bird outside my regular channels and the subject matter seemed to heavy to just jump in. So as my book stacks piled up, I kept putting her book at the bottom of the pile. A book that I'll definitely get to, soon-ish. When I finally picked it up to read in earnest, I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting.

This book is a tearjerker. Whiston-Donaldson tells the story of the death of Jack, her twelve-year-old boy that drowned in a near by creek. Most of the book is the story of her, her husband Tim and daughter Margret pick up the pieces in the midst of their grief. Whiston-Donaldson is vulnerable about how Jack's death made her feel self-loathing, deep pain, isolation and broken. She also struggles to hold on to her faith in God through mourning. This memoir is set in the first year since Jack's passing, so you see her walk through the raw pain and shock, and the cloud of grief that settles in afterward. You also see rays of hope break in as she learns to live with the pain. She also comes to trust that Jack is somehow still close to her.

This is Whiston-Donaldson's story in her own words. I think many of the short chapters, probably came to life as blog entries (she blogs about her grief online). It is a touching story and I am glad I read it. I give it four stars.

I received this book from Convergent Books in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
An excellent, raw journey into the depths of a mother's heart after losing a child. ( )
  authordanagoodman | Mar 3, 2015 |
This book was raw, captivating, and will tug on your heart strings. You will cry. There's no other way about it. It is a sad book, but it's also filled with hope and new beginnings.

The way Anna writes the book is reader friendly and the chapters are never too long. Her language is simplistic, yet beautiful. She is open and honest about her experiences of losing her child. She shares some of her most precious memories of Jack and makes sure not to put him on a pedestal. She shares his triumphs, his downfalls, his quirks, and his joy for the world.

Rare Bird is inspiring and a real treasure. A highly recommended read.

(*Note I received an advanced readers copy from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.) ( )
  carissaburks | Sep 30, 2014 |
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The author shares the story of the loss of her twelve-year-old son to a flash flood, and how she and her family made their way through profound grief toward peace with the help of the presence of God.

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