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Grieving: A Love Story Hardcover – August 24, 1993


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (August 24, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679426965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679426967
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ruth and William Coughlin married at mid-life and spent eight happy years together until June 1991, when Bill, a judge and the author of 15 novels ( Death Penalty ), was diagnosed with liver cancer. In this memoir, Coughlin, the book review editor for the Detroit News , recalls her husband's 10-month struggle to stay alive and her efforts to ensure that he would die with dignity. Her book differs from others of this genre in not romanticizing the suffering she and her husband endured. Optimistic and good humored, Bill was convinced that chemotherapy treatments would slow the growth of his cancer. The Coughlins alternated between confidence and despair until it became clear that there was no more hope. After her husband's death, the author embarked on a mourning that she describes as "a narcissism that borders on the pathological." Offering no panaceas, her candor demonstrates that death and loss are facts of life. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Raw outpouring of loss that's by turns moving and trying, by the widow of the recently deceased novelist and judge William J. Coughlin. The author discusses both her struggles to accommodate herself to widowhood and her life with ``Bill,'' mostly during his cancer- ravaged final ten months. The Bill who emerges here is memorable--a tough federal judge, a tender and sentimental lover, a devoted father, a hard-driving writer, a man of bravery and faith--and the extreme grief displayed by his widow is understandable. But Coughlin seems to suffer from the ``narcissism that borders on the pathological'' that she says mourning provokes, and when she criticizes supposedly insensitive friends for implying that she was overly dependent on her husband, the implication rings true. ``I used to have Bill,'' says Coughlin, ``and now I do not. I used to have a life, and now I do not.'' She makes an effort to go to her job as book critic for The Detroit News, but she ``shamelessly [tells] people high in management, when asked how I am doing, that walking into The Detroit News building and resuming my job is about as meaningless and puny as anything I have ever experienced.'' The events Coughlin describes certainly are enough to shake the faith of a saint--not only does Bill die lingeringly and painfully, but the author's father and beloved dog pass away as well, while her mother is hospitalized. It's not surprising, then, that Coughlin comes across not as a triumphant heroine but as a vulnerable human being torn by rage, confusion, and grief--one just beginning to find a way of bearing her existence. While those who have suffered a loss many appreciate Coughlin's memoir, others will wish for less self-absorption and more about Bill, so that they might participate in the author's grief rather than witnessing it with a mixture of pity and impatience. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book is a "must read" for people who have lost a loved one, or for that matter, if you have lost anyone...or are facing the iminent prospect of death. (As we all are...) It is sensitive, realistic and most of all, it's a love story. It's honest and beautiful.
It needs to be available...for everyone. I've never written a review before, and this book has moved me that much...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rob C. on January 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the finest works on the subject of loss yet written. Whether the reader is dealing with the recent loss of a loved one or needs comfort years after their beloved is gone, this piece of brilliant, honest writing is ideal. A wonderful job of writing, and a wonderful love story. A thank you is in order to Mrs. Coughlin. Your effort is greatly appreciated.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barb F. on April 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this in one of my favorite used book stores, and I am really glad I did. I work in hospice and this book helped me grow in my personal life as well as in my work in hospice. It isn't a very long book but it is full of insight. I strongly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No one can understand the kind of pain that the loss of your one person, friend, lover, husband takes on you unless you have been thru it yourself. I've read many things to validate what I already know is true,but somehow that confirmation cannnot be given enough times, at least for me. Grieving: A love Story was told with that clarity and beauty that gets to your heart straightaway and helps.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By V. R. Feldman on July 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
At 53 my husband died of cancer, searching through the pain and void I came across this treasure!! I have reread parts, it is dogeared, I wish I could send Ruth a thank you, out of her pain she has given back to me,,, it has been only almost 8 weeks, I have read probably 30-40 books about grieving, widow,,, etc.... and this is THE best.... similar to so much of my husband's and my love story..... very sweet, and I do wish I had an update on her life!! Thank you
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