Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood
rating: 2 of 5 stars
I read this as a result of & after reading Ann Hood's fiction novel "The Knitting Circle" recently, which I gave 5 stars to.
I also lost my daughter, (9 years ago this May) though under completely different circumstances than Ann did and before my daughter, Brianna, was born. Ann's daughter Grace was 5 years old.
On 6/4/08, I wrote the following in the book (I do that unless it's from a library or borrowed from my Aunt!) at the end of Chapter 7 on page 110: "Frustrated a bit! Too repetitive! Too many of the exact same details repeated over and over! Even though there are seperate chapters w/titles, there isn't a smooth transition from one to the next! I feel guilty for writing/feeling this!"
And I did feel guilty given the subject matter and because I loved "The Knitting Circle" so! I felt a deep connection to TKC (perhaps because it included other things I've been though besides the loss of a child) and while there are snippets in Comfort that clicked with me, I kept plugging through looking for that same connection and didn't find it.
But it still felt scattered and repetitive to me, even at the end! But, in the acknowledgments Ann thanks her editors at many different publications where "many of these words found early homes... the editors of anthologies where much of this appeared." This makes it make a bit more sense to me overall, that perhaps each chapter was in fact a short story before being pulled together for the book, which would account for all the repetitions.
But, my own writing about my daughter could be very much of the same! How does one wrap their mind around such a inconceivable heartbreak enough to make sense of it all?! (It cannot be done!) And though we may be connected through this kind of loss, Ann's grief is all her own as mine is mine. I have beared that in mind as I read this book and now write this.
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