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In the Heart of Life: A Memoir Hardcover – September 24, 2013
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In 1993, Eldon’s son, Dan, a Reuters photographer, was killed along with three fellow journalists by a mob in Somalia. Reeling from his death, Eldon published a best-selling collection of his richly illustrated journals, The Journey Is the Destination (1997), established the Creative Visions Foundation, and continues to do great things with her daughter and ex-husband to celebrate Dan’s life and work. Now, in this staggeringly intimate memoir, Eldon lays bare not only her shock and grief over the devastating circumstances of her son’s death but also the details of her failed marriage, her regretted indiscretions, and her struggle to find her own true purpose beyond wife-and-motherhood. Eldon is a very spiritual person and recounts some surprising experiences with channeling, spirit guides, and mediums. She acknowledges skepticism of these matters, however, and describes her encounters with the same straightforwardness with which she reveals ill-fated matters of the heart. Fans of Dan’s work will appreciate her unvarnished emotions and honesty, and book clubs will find much to discuss. --Colleen Mondor
Kathy Eldon is a powerhouse who has turned her own personal tragedy into a mega blast of creative energy and vision. She believes everyone can be a force for positive change as long as they do what they do with conviction. (Christiane Amanpour)
“Kathy Eldon has made something profoundly inspiring out of the unthinkably heartbreaking. A memoir of breathtaking honesty; a mother’s heartsong to her children; an elegy for her wild and inspiring son; a testimony to being fiercely engaged in the world; and a love story to East Africa”. (Alexandra Fuller)
“Kathy Eldon has written the kind of personal memoir that captures in exquisite, emotionally charged detail a life of adventure, love and loss-and ultimate redemption through creativity and activism. The story of her search for meaning challenges our beliefs and opens our hearts to new possibilities.” (Pat Mitchell, The Paley Center for Media)
“Kathy inspires women to believe that they can do more than simply survive; they can thrive, and passionately create the lives of their choice.” (Rosie O'Donnell, comedian, actress, and author)
“Kathy Eldon’s courage to live in the heart of life inspires all of us to live more soulfully, honestly, and passionately. By following her soul’s longings, she finds herself turning her pain into compassion and her failures into gifts. Her life is the true definition of a ‘hero’s journey.’” (Maria Bello, actor and activist)
“Kathy Eldon’s memoir is raw, honest, and instantly compelling-an amazing adventure of the heart that enlightens the soul. Thank goodness for this book and for the tremendous source of inspiration that is Kathy Eldon.” (Ricki Lake, television personality)
“This book compromised my sleep by keeping me up late at night; it impacted my work by compelling me to put aside things I needed to do so I could ‘just read a few pages.’ Kathy’s story is full of triumph and sorrow, heartbreak, and redemption. A remarkable read.” (Susan Stiffleman, author of Parenting without Power Struggles, therapist, and parenting expert)
The extraordinary memoir of a woman’s journey from Iowa to London to Kenya, from all that was safe and predictable to a transformative, dazzling, yet harrowing new life and existence-transforming the depths of pain to the heights of activism.” (Ann Haggart, Annenberg Foundation)
“In the Heart of Life is not just a memoir, but a journey of the soul looking for the light. We are taken on a stunning adventure of love, loss, hope, forgiveness, and dreams. A must read for anyone who has ever loved, lost, and still seeks the answers.” (Elinor Tatum, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Amsterdam News)
“Kathy Eldon shares an extraordinary tale-at times heartbreaking, at times exuberant. Every twist, every turn, every triumph and tragedy reflects a woman facing life’s most tender, vulnerable, scary moments and saying...YES. Her courage in embracing life inspires me to do the same.” (Lyndon Harris, founder, The Gardens of Forgiveness Project)
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However, after the death of her son, which was devastating to her husband, daughter, and herself, she did a wonderful job of honoring his memory in very positive ways which would carry on into the future. She always expressed guilt and shame about many of her actions, but after her son's death she got some therapy, and was able to deal with many of the issues that drove her. By the end of the book, she is friends with her ex-husband, close to her daughter, and has remarried into what seems a healthy relationship. For that, I applaud her.