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I Never Expected This Good Life: Poems and Stories

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1592661015
ISBN-10: 1592661017
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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • 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: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Ellyn Stern Epcar on July 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I just finished Jennifer Futernick's book. It has been my evening reading pleasure in bed this last week. Her book is a poetic journey that I couldn't put down. Sometimes when moments are too difficult to translate, poetry is the conduit to express and elevate the soul.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had been lucky enough to meet the author as a guest in my Bed and Breakfast in Portland, Oregon. She told me of her book, and I ordered it once she had left. I didn't know really what to expect, but what a little gem of a book. I savored reading a little each night, learning about this person and her life and family and what trials, tribulations and joys she has experienced. Her poetry really touched me and I loved how the poems were interwoven throughout the book. Often it was like music to me and I would have to literally put down the book and just think about the pictures the words had painted in my head. A great gift to give a friend as well.
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Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written memoir, both tender and joyful, that includes the hard losses and painful transitions in the author's life. She reminds the reader that a "good life" is not without suffering as well as joy. She speaks deeply about the seven stages of a her life. I was especially touched by her extraordinary descriptions of "mother love". You may recognize those blissful, transcendent connections with your own child, as I did. It is a wonderful book that I read in one sitting, written in perfect pitch, about life, love and loss.
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Format: Paperback
The author’s publisher, Capra Press, gave me a copy of this memoir for review.

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.
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