- Paperback: 175 pages
- Publisher: Capra Press (May 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1592661017
- ISBN-13: 978-1592661015
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,719,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Never Expected This Good Life: Poems and Stories
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About the Author
Jennifer Futernick holds a B.A. in Humanities from the University of California at Berkeley and an MLS from San Jose State. She was a research librarian at McKinsey & Company for over twenty years. She is currently a poet and freelance editor, and lives with her husband in San Francisco.
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Futernick’s memoir is divided into seven categories of varied aspects of life. She includes Marriage, Family, Children, Working and other common activities and connections that we experience everyday. Futernick’s goes deep in all of aspects sharing her mother’s cancer with us as well as the loss of her father. In the poem “Sleeping with My Mother,” Futernick shares the connection that she has with her mother and the devastation at the loss of that connection. Intellectually she knows that her mother has lived a tough life and was in a great deal of pain but she is a touchstone for her daughter. The heart of the poem resonated with this reader. Throughout this 175 work there is laugh, love, loss and introspection that is tinged with the joy of the experience.
“I Never Expected This Good Life” ends with the poem “Astonishment’s Cup.” Despite the here and there nature of the piece, a reader can feel that they’ve had a complete look into the author’s soul. Futernick’s style is simply and direct so that readers can pull the shorter pieces together to gain a full picture. Family is important to the author, connections with people are important to the author, a real life experience is important to the author. Pieces were previously published which likely helped this author gain perspective on her work and give the reader the feel that every word is considered and weighed before added to her work. “I Never Expected This Good Life” is polished but relatable.
For 12 years, I searched for my family, my roots. My mother was a child when her parents passed away and she became an orphan. She lost all contact with her aunts and uncles and cousins. But I desperately wanted to know the missing links. Then an amazing breakthrough happened, and I found Jennifer, my cousin, and all the rest of my cousins and family. We were strangers whose DNA held many answers. We met, but I didn't really know her until I read her book.
It has been a beautiful journey, getting to know my cousin Jennifer. Her writing is beautiful. Her metaphors are touching, fragile, and intellectually inspiring. She had such a difficult childhood, but it is to her credit that she didn't allow the pain to anchor her to the past. Jennifer moved on and created "this good life." It was wonderful to read the stories of her siblings, parents, nephew, children, husband, and friends...and now, I'm proud to say, my cousins. Jennifer writes with an unapologetic, loving intimacy. The cover is simply exquisite, a dressing for the imagery she pulls from her heart and shares with the reader. As her cousin, I am now looking forward to knowing her even more, and as the reader, I can't remember when I've shared such a lovely week with a book.