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Staying Alive: A Love Story Paperback – September 13, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Laura B. Hayden spent her childhood in Brooklyn, NY, and her teens in Enfield, CT, where she went on to teach high school and freelance for regional publications. She married, raised her daughter and son through her thirties and forties, and was widowed before she turned fifty. She completed her MFA in Writing at Western Connecticut State University in 2010. The author's previous writing has been published by The Hartford Courant, Northeast magazine, the Journal Inquirer, Connecticut Parent, Hartford Woman, and Imprint publications . Her essay, "Saved by the Belle" took first place in the First Annual Mark Twain Days Essay Contest on American Politics & Government, judged by Russell Baker, Garry Trudeau, and Joyce Chadwick-Joshua. Recently, her essay "Nesting" received an honorable mention from Connecticut Review, a journal published by the Connecticut State University system.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Signalman Publishing (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935991183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935991182
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,774,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura spent her childhood in Brooklyn, NY, and her teens in Enfield,
CT, where she went on to teach high school and freelance for regional
publications. She married, raised her daughter and son through
her thirties and forties, and was widowed before she turned fifty.
She completed her MFA in Writing at Western Connecticut State
University in 2010.

Laura's previous writing has been published by The Hartford
Courant, Northeast magazine, the Journal Inquirer, Connecticut
Parent, Hartford Woman, and Imprint publications . Her essay,
"Saved by the Belle" took first place in the First Annual Mark Twain
Days Essay Contest on American Politics & Government, judged
by Russell Baker, Garry Trudeau, and Joyce Chadwick-Joshua.
Recently, her essay "Nesting" received an honorable mention from
Connecticut Review, a journal published by the Connecticut State
University system.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
After losing her husband at an early age, the author shares her memories of him in a way that lets the reader feel not only the pain that goes along with such a tragedy, but also insight into how she is able to bring her two children through the difficult times. With each chapter, new memories of their lives together are unfolded as she describes the man she loved, and the children she still has to raise, while looking for meaning in it all. I found myself crying at some parts, and laughing at others. I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost someone close, or is just looking for a good story about perseverance after a heartbreaking loss.
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Hayden's book takes the reader through the chambers of her heart and mind as she deals with the unexpected death of her husband, the father of a young family. The book is made up of essays that capture parts of her life as a child, with her husband and as a single mother of two children. Some of the stories will make you laugh, others will make you cry, but at the end it all comes full circle. I think it is wonderful that Hayden's children can one day share this book with their children and future generations so they can hear all about their family, especially their grandfather. I truly enjoyed reading Staying Alive.
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Format: Paperback
Having suddenly lost my precious husband 6 months ago, I have been reading many books that have to do with losing a loved one and whatever insight and help I might find on this painful pathway I have begun. That is the reason I decided to read this book.
Instead of finding a "how to help me book", I found a beautiful, sincere memoir of a woman mourning the death of her husband. Yet while dealing with all the realities of her loss, she celebrates the life they had together.
Her husband had recently had bypass surgery and his family was relieved and looking forward to many more years together. A week later he dies suddenly due to complications. My heart broke for her. My husband survived 2 bypass surgeries and I remember how happy I was he would live. Many years later, he also died suddenly during a minor procedure not involving his heart.
I related to her story in so many ways: her shock, pain, walking through the fog and being slammed daily with the truth that the one you loved most is gone. Although it was not what I expected, the book was a blessing. By her sharing not only about her grief, but her memories with her husband, coping with day to day realities of his death, and her life years later, it helped me see a bigger picture.
When someone you love deeply dies, you find yourself focusing on your loss and sorrow. The wonderful memories that come to mind are tied to your grief at first. Ms. Hayden helped me realize those memories are a legacy and joy you will hold on to forever, even though at the present they are bittersweet. By sharing her journey I was reminded again there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If she made it through with God's help as have many others before me, then I will too. Her writing was honest and transparent.
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I'm very glad that I chose to read Hayden's beautifully written memoir. As an individual who has suffered a recent loss, I found Hayden's words to be comforting and thought provoking- both a mourning and a celebration of her beloved husband. Being a descendent of Italian immigrants who moved from NY to CT, it was easy for me to see myself and my family in her words. I felt very safe exploring my own loss through her world. This book is a worthwhile read for not only suffers of loss, but also parents of children, children of parents, and those who might like a glimpse into the life of someone reconciling the difficult parts of life with a deep spiritual connection. Pick up a copy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In STAYING ALIVE: A Love Story, Laura Hayden recalls the sequence of events that forever changed her life and the lives of her two children. Her husband was recovering from heart surgery. One moment he was doing well. Then, he was suddenly gone --- at way too young an age.

As the memoir unfolds, we learn that Laura Hayden is a person of deep faith, strong family ties, and stamina. Fortunate for her, as she will need and use the depth of these gifts in the years following her husband's death. In her recollections, we learn about her ethnic roots and we get to know her humorous and insightful husband. Through her words, I felt the loss of the relationship, the loss to her children, just the loss of him as a person. I wish I had known him. When she reflects on the "why" questions and watches for "signs" that Larry is okay --- and maybe even still with them, perhaps in a different way, we absolutely understand, and recall moments in our own lives when we were there, too.

The ragged writing style in the initial chapters, whether intended as a literary device or not, draws us in. Once beyond the traumatic memories of his death, I noticed shifts in the author's writing style, perhaps reflecting her changes in mood as she pieced the memoir together. Sometimes simple sentence construction and lean description, sometimes gritty dialogue and irreverence, sometimes crisp witty passages, sometimes eloquent reflections on the situation or the past --- her style adapts, just like she has done.

Over the course of the memoir journey, the author introduces us to the people in this family's circle of life. The memoir vignettes, some funny, some sad, some thought provoking, take place in different time periods.
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