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Staying Alive: A Love Story Kindle Edition
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As the memoir unfolds, we learn that Laura Hayden is a person of deep faith, strong family ties, and stamina. Fortunate for her, as she will need and use the depth of these gifts in the years following her husband's death. In her recollections, we learn about her ethnic roots and we get to know her humorous and insightful husband. Through her words, I felt the loss of the relationship, the loss to her children, just the loss of him as a person. I wish I had known him. When she reflects on the "why" questions and watches for "signs" that Larry is okay --- and maybe even still with them, perhaps in a different way, we absolutely understand, and recall moments in our own lives when we were there, too.
The ragged writing style in the initial chapters, whether intended as a literary device or not, draws us in. Once beyond the traumatic memories of his death, I noticed shifts in the author's writing style, perhaps reflecting her changes in mood as she pieced the memoir together. Sometimes simple sentence construction and lean description, sometimes gritty dialogue and irreverence, sometimes crisp witty passages, sometimes eloquent reflections on the situation or the past --- her style adapts, just like she has done.
Over the course of the memoir journey, the author introduces us to the people in this family's circle of life. The memoir vignettes, some funny, some sad, some thought provoking, take place in different time periods. As a reader in the same age group, I found they took me back in time in my own life, tapping memories I hadn't thought about in a while. There are many laugh out loud moments and the clarity of the detail in the descriptions is at times astounding.
Reading Laura Hayden's book, STAYING ALIVE... reminds me of a beautiful quote I read recently, "Life is like a piano. The white keys represent happiness, the black keys represent sadness. But, as you go through life's journey, remember that the black keys also create music." She has created music --- for her circle of life and for her readers.
She see's Larry come and go and wonders if he is an angel or if she is just plain lonely and dreaming. She remembers their life together and some days she is mad at him for leaving her at 49 with two children to raise and other days, she is just plain grieving.
What is amazing is that five years after he dies, she gets her own death scare with cancer.
You will be rooting for her and her children throughout the story and you will also see yourself at times and wonder how would you react? It's a thoughtful story that I am sure many other woman have endured. It's a good story that needed to be told, I think, for Laura to continue on and to validate her love for Larry and to keep him close for her and her children.
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