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The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"With an honesty and intimacy rarely achieved in modern memoir, Katrina Kenison dissolves yearning into its complex, sensate parts. This is a book about mid-life want and loss. It is also a most knowing book about a most gracious love-about the gifts that are returned to those who find beauty where it falls." (author, House of Dance Beth Kephart )
This eloquent book is subtitled "A Mother's Memoir," but that's not giving Kenison's chronicle of her sons' increasing independence its full due. It's also about longing and fulfillment , taking stock of failures and achievements, a search for the elusive "something more" of one's existence-and a reminder that life's seemingly mundane moments are often where we find beauty, grace and transformation. (Family Circle magazine )
More About the Author
A former literary editor at Houghton Mifflin Company in New Haven, New York, and Boston, Katrina became the series editor for The Best American Short Stories in 1990, a post she held for sixteen years. She co-edited, with John Updike, The Best American Short Stories of the Century. With her yoga teacher, Rolf Gates, she wrote Meditations from the Mat: Reflections on the Path of Yoga.
Katrina has been a featured guest on Oprah and her essays have appeared in O The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Family Circle, Woman's Day, and many other publications.
Above all a wife and mother, Katrina is also a passionate reader whose idea of heaven is a hammock under a tree and a hardcover book in her hand. She lives in the New Hampshire countryside with her husband and sons and their border collie, Gracie. Her YouTube video of a reading from The Gift of an Ordinary Day, one of the most-watched book trailers of all time, has been viewed by nearly 2 million people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olSyCLJU3O0
Top Customer Reviews
Although the prose is beautiful, it could be edited...that is the only fault I could find with this book.Read more ›
"It is of course, a universal drama- children grow up, they leave home, clocks tick in empty bedroom, and untouched gallons of milk turn sour in the fridge because no one's there to drink them..."
You miss the person you had been, the very busy mom full of schedules, carpools, school events and suddenly one day your children are grown and you are done. "I missed the person I had been for them too, the younger, more capable mother who read aloud for hours, stuck raisin eyes into bear-shaped pancakes, created knight's amour from cardboard and duct tape. Certainly my talents didn't seem quite so impressive anymore, my company not as desirable as it once had been."
Now what? And "in an almost heartbreaking sense of just how short life really is, and how incomprehensible," you try to get on with the new life, the life with grown children.
The sudden impulse to do something crazy just because you realize time is fleeting and soon you may not be able. So Katrina Kenison jettisons into a house purchase; "And we're here because my more sensible husband, in his desire to please me, is willing to go along with- if not embrace- a vision he most definitely doesn't share."
All the minutiae of Of Katrina Kenison's life will differ from yours but the angst, the joy, the fulfillment, and the yearning will ring true.
This book hit me at that point where I am the mother who is almost done raising my children and wondering, "Is there life after this?" Kenison encouragingly writes that there is, but don't forget who you were and who you will become. And rejoice in that.Read more ›
The book followed a tiresome and repetitive formula, something like:
My life isn't exactly what I thought it would be. My sons aren't what I thought they would be. My house isn't what I thought it would be. And then the message, which is repeated over and over, is to embrace life, to live in the moment, to appreciate what you have instead of what you hoped you would have.
That is a nice message. But it's as if the author has to learn it 40 times throughout the book, and we the reader are dragged along through every banal epiphany.
After reading the comments, it seems like this book does resonate with people who are going through the exact same thing as she is. I'm in a different place in my life, so perhaps that has something to do with my dislike for the book.
She also comes across as being pretty self-absorbed and selfish. She makes huge decisions despite her entire family's protest in the name of self-growth. It seems like a problem of "wherever you go, there you are" to me. As in, she can change locations and homes as often as she wants, but she's still going to be herself. Which as far as I can tell, would be exhausting. I would want a break from it, too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was ok, interesting but not for everyone. However, if you have two sons, it's a must-read!Published 22 days ago by Gail Terhaar
It is a nice book. A little too slow for our time but full of a positive point of view. It is a view of a mother who has a great self confidence an expect her two sons to have a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nissim Hasson
A reassuring story for women that most feel but do not know how to explain in the years beyond intense nurturing, and life refocus.Published 2 months ago by Carol D.
I absolutely LOVED this book. It is beautifully written, poetic and meditative. What guts it took to make the life changes she did and I'm grateful to the author for sharing her... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Staci Ericson Amazon Customer
Sent this as a gift for my daughter. Her oldest son is beginning high school. She called to say how perfect this was at this time in her life . . . Read morePublished 4 months ago by mw
Enjoyed this mother's story about the sort of sadness, poignancy, and joy of her sons growing to adulthood. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Stephanie