From Publishers Weekly
Dann, the author of Mermaids, had been married almost 10 years to her Dutch husband, Willem, when he was suddenly diagnosed with a fatal brain cancer. In this memoir (the cute title undercuts the serious subject), Dann explains how the plans they'd so lovingly made—their future together—would abruptly come to an end. Worse, Dann had no idea how she'd explain to their three-year-old son, Jake, whom they adopted from Lithuania, that his father would begin to act strangely, that he would become very sick and eventually die. Fortunately, she enlisted the aid of an understanding child therapist, Sallie Sanborn, who taught Dann how to give Jake permission to grieve. While her son's reactions were Dann's focus, she also had to come to terms with the man she loved losing his language skills, his mobility, his thought processes, and their happy marriage coming to an end. Dann lets her story unfold as a series of short vignettes—some triggered by a mundane object, others by something someone said. Bittersweet and painfully honest, Dann's memoir of how she had to leave one life and begin another is remarkable. (Jan.)
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<a title="Interview" target="_blank" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB1aKR_SUIA">Click here</a> to watch a live interview with Patty Dann on CBS Sunday Morning News.
See all Editorial Reviews
"The most protective parent must one day reveal the hard truth that life ends. For Patty Dann, that wrenching task came sooner than any mother would wish. Dann's memoir is filled with brave arguments for accepting death and may underscore the very natural difficulty people have in doing so. Evocatively titled . . . striking."—The New York Times Book Review
"Patty Dann writes movingly of losing her husband Willem to cancer. In this affecting memoir, Dann chronicles Willem's quick decline and her own struggle to help three-year-old Jake deal with losing his dad. No goldfish-went-on-vacation euphemizer, she opts for straight talk while allowing Jake his talismans—Band-Aids plastered on his toy trucks, beach glass arranged in an intricate pattern on his parents' bed. . . . Dann brings home the enormity of their loss but you get the feeling they're two who, together will survive just fine."—People Magazine
"What sets Patty Dann's volume apart is the remarkable three-year-old boy at its heart, and how, with the help of a smart therapist, he deals with the death of his father from brain cancer."—USA Today
"Dann lets her story unfold as a series of short vignettes—some triggered by a mundane object, others by something someone said. Bittersweet and painfully honest, Dann's memoir of how she had to leave one life and begin another is remarkable."—Publishers Weekly
"The book's strength lies in its emotional honesty, rendered beautifully—in spare, tender chapters—by Dann."—Adoptive Families
"A disarming memoir of loss will leave readers appreciating every moment."—Working Mother
"Patty Dann writes about love and loss in a way that is stirring and important. Like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, this book takes readers through experiences they might be frightened to imagine, and it does so with poise, wit, and originality."—Meg Wolitzer, author of Surrender, Dorothy and The Position
"Writing with grace and candor, and vivid bursts of humor, Ms. Dann shares the hard-won wisdom that the way to speak about death is honestly and openly, and that the simple acknowledgment of shared loss is the kindest and most helpful path to take, especially with a child. This is a wonderfully generous and helpful book."—Abigail Thomas, author of Safekeeping and A Three Dog Life
"A lovely, beautifully rendered memoir. Dann merits particular praise for her frank, unsentimental, sensitive exploration of the challenges of teaching children to understand loss and death as an integral aspect of love and life. A great wisdom resides in these short chapters, and Dann presents it in straightforward, succinct, crystalline prose."—Fenton Johnson, author of Geography of the Heart: A Memoir