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Those We Love Most Hardcover – September 11, 2012

136 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Woodruff, who is married to Bob Woodruff, the newsman who suffered a traumatic brain injury while covering the war in Iraq, brings her own experience in dealing with sudden tragedy to bear in her first novel (after Perfectly Imperfect, 2009, a collection of essays). Maura Corrigan’s settled suburban life changes in an instant when her eldest son, nine-year-old James, is hit by a car. Reeling from a welter of emotions, including guilt that she was texting instead of keeping an eye on her son, Maura feels too overwhelmed to try to deal with the distance in her marriage as her husband copes with the tragedy by spending evenings at the local watering hole with his college chums. Meanwhile, her parents must confront the rift in their own marriage when evidence of her father’s years-long affair comes to light. Woodruff is surprisingly subtle in her nuanced portraits of the complexity of marriage, the far from well-intentioned people who seem to thrive on tragedy, and the great struggle to find meaning in life. Candid and heartfelt, this is sure to please fans of women’s fiction. --Joanne Wilkinson


"Lee Woodruff has written a beautiful, humorous, poignant page turner about the complexities of love and marriage, tricky family dynamics and the power of the human heart. Everything you want in a great read is here, including wonderful storytelling that builds to a satisfying ending. Loved it."―Adriana Trigiani

"Flawless, breathtaking, and oh-so-real, Those We Love Most is a beautifully written book about family, love, betrayal, forgiveness, and how we pick up the pieces in the wake of unthinkable tragedy. When I turned the last page, I found myself missing the characters already. I can't recommend this book highly enough. "―Harlan Coben

"Those We Love Most is a poignant, heartwarming story that follows you beyond its pages. Woodruff skillfully makes the Corrigan family real--fallible and vulnerable, ultimately strengthened by the undeniable power of love. I grieved and cheered for them all, and finished the book with a big smile on my face."―Catherine Coulter

"I opened Those We Love Most when my plan took off from Boston, and didn't look up again until I landed in Miami. In between, I cried and smiled and nodded, and turned pages faster and faster. It's one of those novels."―Ann Hood

"Lee Woodruff knows how to get to the heart of the matter on every occasion."―Alice Hoffman

"Those We Love Most is an engrossing story about family, fragility, rupture, and redemption. Woodruff's beautiful and unflinching portrayal of the grief, betrayal, guilt, tenacity, and love that engulf this family in the aftermath of a devastating tragedy will keep you turning pages till the end."―Sue Monk Kidd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; First Edition edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401341780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401341787
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Lee Woodruff is the coauthor with her husband, Bob Woodruff, of the number one New York Times bestseller In an Instant, the author of the essay collection Perfectly Imperfect and the novel Those We Love Most. She is a contributing editor to CBS This Morning and has written numerous articles on family and parenting for Parade, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, Country Living, and Family Fun. She and Bob founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist wounded service members and their families. Woodruff has four children and lives in Westchester County, New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By S. Rogers on August 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a very solemn book, with a serious tone and tenor throughout - even during the more light-hearted moments in the story. And that is because it is about loss in all of its forms: the loss of a loved one, a relationship, one's health, independence, youth, and innocence. But it's incredibly relatable because we have all faced loss of some sort in our lives, and have had to make decisions about how to navigate through it. This book is about how one particular family responded to a multitude of losses and tried to do the right thing by the people they loved.

The family seems so fractured in the beginning, beyond repair, but then you see glimmers of hope and start rooting for them to overcome their sorrow. Subtleties slowly build into complex characters, each battling their own demons but entwined in the struggles and choices of the others. What's so interesting is that for the most part they each fight their own battles in silence. There's no examining of feelings or getting things out into the open in this family; they bear their crosses in private. As one of the main characters acknowledges, "Each of us held things that weighed us down, to different degrees...No one was exempt. All of us whizzing by each other on a city street or highway, wearing our polite public masks, while the internal scars, the transgressions and the sadness of egregious loss, clung to us on the inside like trace elements."

To that end I found the book sort of depressing . While Woodruff sets us up to believe "Loss is an invitation to change, it's not the end," I couldn't help but notice that these characters didn't change, per se - they just chose to bury their feelings about loss and keep silent about their transgressions in an effort to keep everyone else happy: "Maybe silence was a price we sometimes paid for loving so completely, the price we sometimes paid to protect those we loved most."
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Medlock VINE VOICE on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is filled with pain, loss, and suffering which made it almost impossible to stay in the story. For me, someone who reads fairly quickly...I had a very hard time continuing the story and not putting the book down over and over again. Those we Love Most is absolutely thought provoking and very well written, but I believe it would have benefitted from some lighter moments. For this reason alone I gave this book 4 stars.

Maura is first and foremost a mother who loves her children unconditionally! Maura is also a woman in a marriage that seems to have derailed and sadly she loses focus on what is important. One very tragic accident brings Mauras life and the lives of her family to a screeching halt. The aftermath of the tragedy exposes the weakness of not only Maura, but her husband, mom and dad. Woodruff gets across eloquently that there is nothing like tragedy to make you see the important things in life....most importantly those that you love.

I really struggled with this review as I always like to put in a description of the actual plot, but in this case I felt to do that would be to give away too much of the story that you really must read to get the full impact. I will say this and you will certainly understand once you read the book....I would be highly interested in reading the story of Alex and how he deals witn what happened and how that shapes his adult life.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Maytree on January 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I read constantly, at least two novels a week and LITERATURE, not this kind of tripe.

This read like an excerpt from Ladies Home Journal. It makes Oprah seem edgy. It was an utter, complete waste of time.

The characters, hah! Is that what they are? Maura had two or three siblings, I can't even remember their names, why were they there at all? The mother Margaret is a hard, mean, unforgiving control freak and the only characters of slight interest here were her husband Roger and his mistress.

Story line, boring, pull the heart strings, is that all you've got Lee? One dimensional, predictable, flat. I finished this book yesterday and can't remember half the characters names.

A book about a child's death with out much else happening is a cheap shot and a snore.

If you want to read complex characters that aren't just like your boring neighbors, try Kent Meyers, "The River Warren", "Twisted Tree", or Annie Dillard, "The Maytrees" or ANYTHING by Joyce Carol Oates.

But with authors like Meyers, Dillard, Oates and many more,you have to actually think. Everything is not drawn out for you, they are multi-dimensional.

I have seven books on my buffet now, waiting to go back to the library and this is the ONLY one I really couldn't stand.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amy Leemon VINE VOICE on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel is centered around an almost unbearable tragedy and the six people affected by an "in an instant" moment.

There is Maura - the mother who makes one life changing mistake. Pete - her husband whose impulsive first question "Where were you?" creates a huge unbridgeable gulf between them. Margaret - the good wife (no matter what). Roger - the not so good husband. Julia - the other woman. And Alex - the teenager looking for forgiveness.

Over the course of a year, these lives are changed dramatically. One of them in ways that even surprised the author - at least according to an interview included at the back of the book.

The story was absorbing and the characters were all too human - not always likeable but trying the best they knew how to overcome a tremendous tragedy.

Lee Woodruff has also written two non-fiction books: "In An Instant" and "Perfectly Imperfect". I highly recommend both of them in addition to this one.
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