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Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood
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Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

by Ann Hood

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142784,396 (4.31)4
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    Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though Comfort is wrenching and anguished, while Making Toast more reflective, the author of each memoir movingly discusses the aftermath of the unexpected deaths of their daughters.
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Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood

★★★★ ½

In 2002 acclaimed author, Ann Hood, lost her 5 year old daughter to a rare strain of strep that was in the blood. One day she was playing and enjoying time with her daughter – 36 hours later her daughter would die. This is the memoir of her tragic loss and her dealings with it over a few year period.

This memoir struck home. No parent wants to lose their child, regardless of age or situation; it’s a parent’s worst nightmare. This was a short and quick read for me. Very well done and to the point, Ann Hood throws her feelings out there about faith (or lack of it), the emptiness in her home and her life, the depression and grief, the breakdowns, the struggle to continue. I just nodded throughout this book. It was as if she was throwing out MY emotions for the world to see. It was...well...a comfort, just as the title says. It is a beautiful memoir, regardless of whether one is a parent or not. One may relate to it and even if they can’t they may have the sense to give their loved ones that extra hug and extra “I love you” because life and those in it are a beautiful, and sometimes tragic, thing.

A line that particularly touched me – “Time doesn’t heal, I had learned, it just keeps moving. And it takes us with it.”

( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
Shortly after my son was killed, I read Joan Didion's " A Year of Magical Thinking". It was amazing in its description of loss that cannot be shared. However, I must say that Ann Hood has expressed the loss of a child better than anyone I have ever had the discussion with about the personal, singular, life altering experience. I have always said that I only know two women who can understand. Both have lost a child. I also knew two women when I was very young, and it was not until I lost my son that it dawned on me that they rarely talked about the child they had lost. I now understand why.

Ann has also captured the difference between men and women and the fact that all losses of children do not drive a separation between them. I admire her courage to speak her feelings and say that more people should read this book to come to a level of understanding and compassion for anyone who has lost a child. It is different than any other loss. ( )
  Donura1 | Mar 9, 2009 |
Excellent book! Very moving
  skiutah3 | Oct 20, 2008 |
I admire Ms. Hood's willingness and ability to share such a private grief. I liked that she didn't end with everything being "all better". Her acknowledgment that there would be a part of her that would never stop grieving the loss of Grace reflects truth. The initial agony of loss may ease, but I don't think it ever truly goes away. It's learning to live with this new part of life that makes her journey a triumph. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Sep 23, 2008 |
I have just finished reading “Comfort” by Ann Hood and I sit here stunned. Never have I been a witness to such raw and intimate emotion. Ann writes of her tortuous journey of trying to cope with her grief after the sudden death of her daughter, Gracie. “She was only five years old.” The reiterating of this sentence and the phrases describing her frantic experiences that day in the hospital, over and over again throughout the book, convey the sense of disbelief, helplessness, and raw pain throughout the memoir.

Ann Hood is not a new author to me. I have read many of her other books. “Do Not Go Gently” about dealing with the impeding loss of her father to cancer also revealed her ability to put on paper what was coursing through her veins. “The Knitting Circle” a fictional story of a woman trying to put her life together after the loss of her daughter, was her previous attempt to try to tell the story of the loss of Gracie. In each of these, woven in with the phrases of pain and brutal honesty is an energy and lust for life that is redeeming. I find myself crying and then laughing with tenderness as she goes on to mention something that brings to life the human spirit to survive and cope.

Even though the book deals with such tragedy and pain, it is not a downer. I am left with a sense of connection to Ann and her family that make me want to hug her and bring a cake over to her house. She is each of us…she is a mother who isn’t afraid to feel her pain and share it with us. She is a wife who isolates herself in a corner one minute and then grasps tenaciously to her husband in the next. She is a woman who exhibits love, anger, longing, strength and determination. If she can walk through this then there is hope for all of us who also have difficult journeys in our future. ( )
  SignoraEdie | Sep 21, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393064565, Hardcover)

A moving and remarkable memoir about the sudden death of a daughter, surviving grief, and learning to love again.
In 2002, Ann Hood's five-year-old daughter Grace died suddenly from a virulent form of strep throat. Stunned and devastated, the family searched for comfort in a time when none seemed possible. Hood—an accomplished novelist—was unable to read or write. She could only reflect on her lost daughter—"the way she looked splashing in the bathtub...the way we sang 'Eight Days a Week.' " One day, a friend suggested she learn to knit. Knitting soothed her and gave her something to do. Eventually, she began to read and write again. A semblance of normalcy returned, but grief, in ever new and different forms, still held the family. What they could not know was that comfort would come, and in surprising ways. Hood traces her descent into grief and reveals how she found comfort and hope again—a journey to recovery that culminates with a newly adopted daughter.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In 2002, Ann Hood's five-year-old daughter Grace died suddenly from a virulent form of strep throat. Stunned and devastated, the family searched for comfort in a time when none seemed possible. Hood - an accomplished novelist - was unable to read or write. She could only reflect on her lost daughter. One day, a friend suggested she learn to knit. Knitting soothed her and gave her something to do. Eventually, she began to read and write again. A semblance of normalcy returned, but grief, in ever new and different forms, still held the family. What they could not know was that comfort would come, and in surprising ways. In Comfort, Hood traces her descent into grief and reveals the people and places where she found hope once again."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393064565, 039333659X

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