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Those We Love Most
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$5.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on January 24, 2014
Reading Lee Woodruff's novel Those We Love Most was very apt timing. I've just started a writing class through UCLA Extension that is focused on writing through grief and trauma. The characters in Woodruff's novel are all caught in the middle of grief and trauma, when a child in the family is struck by a car and killed. The stories and perspectives in this novel could have been directly from some of the writings produced by my classmates.

When their young son is killed, Maura and Pete must not only face the loss of their child, but they're also confronted with guilt over their own personal failings that were happening prior to the accident. Maura has been having an affair with the local veterinary and Pete is a raging alcoholic. The story also follows Maura's parents, Margaret and Roger, who are also experiencing marital discord as Roger has been having an affair with a younger woman in Florida. The death in the family shakes them into examining what is really important.

As much as this is a story about managing grief, this is a story about making mistakes and owning up to them. The characters are all imperfect and flawed, but in a realistic way. You want to root for them to make the right decisions.

I love the theme of the story of when a person dies it makes you reflect on your own life. I've had this experience with every family death and although the death part of it is horrible and you miss your loved one, death has a great effect of making you reflect on what's important. It prompted me to make a bigger effort with family and friends. I became more spontaneous and traveled more. This is a story of people who have that epiphany.

I really liked the way that Woodruff wrote the storyline of Maura confronting the teenager that was driving the car that hit her son. The teen has had his life do a 180 and he is a mess. Although Maura is in immense pain and harbors plenty of anger towards him, she is also able to empathize and see how his life has been affected. She sees glimpses of her dead son in the teen.

Sometimes gritty, sometimes a bit sappy, but over all this book is a decent story that packs an emotional punch. It's a worthy read, especially if you're experiencing grief.

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on February 10, 2014
This book started out strong. I was intrigued by the characters and their plights. The initial tragedy is gripping and the aftermath takes you on an emotional journey with the family. The author does a good job of capturing grief and the conflicted human condition. The character's flaws are realistic and relatable. The messages about one family's love is strong and inspiring. Having said that, there's nothing really special about the book. It's not unique and it stops building about three quarters of the way through. The end really drags and there's not new information or character development. By the end of the book I was kind of bored and stopped rooting for the people.
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on October 1, 2012
I thought this book was well thought out and nicely written. I didnt much like it. I dont think that Lee has captured the loss of a child, which is distinct from other losses. I didnt like the personality of Margaret, the grandmother, whom I thought was passive aggressive. I thought the winding up of all the loose ends was too pat. I did like the mom, and I did think that Lee captured some of the drifting quality of grief and the way it makes us paralyzed. I also thought that her reaction to the people around her was right on. I know a lot of people found this book profound and that it captured a lot of the world for them, and that is a good thing. It probably just isnt for someone who actually lost a child.
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on February 8, 2013
I am still tryiing to find a character that is likable and that you want to know better. The only thing that I thought was interesting was the authors ability to capture the type of emotion each situation could bring about, although she did little with that information. Margaret is a manipulative prude, Robert a serial aldultrer, Maura a whineysecretive selgf involved person. And Julia the mistress.....a victim waiting for the crumbs from Robert's table. I did finish it, but only because I paid good money for it.
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on September 26, 2012
Life its ownself entails such a plethora of emotions, unintended side effects, unanticipated feelings & reactions...some are funny, some are tragic...but, as John Lennon said, life is what happens when you've busy doing other things. This book realistically captures the lives of so many people as they caromb off each other, sometimes trying to make sense of it all and sometimes preferring to be numb.The book also left me wondering abut the back story of virtually every character and, to me, that's a sign of a terrific book--the characters are so well drawn that you want to know more. A definite recommendation!
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on August 15, 2013
This is not a book you can love because the subject matter is too painful. That being said, I did thoroughly enjoy the book because the author so convincingly pulled the lives of a family together. This could have been us! The characters were real. The dialogs were well thought out and also real. The hardest thing to accept after a tragedy is that life goes on --- and it is up to us to make the choices that determine whether we help or hinder the rest of our family. A good book.
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on September 6, 2013
I don't shy away from a dramatic storyline. I have also dealt with the grief of losing our only child. So I could definitely relate to the tragedy here. I also felt that Woodruff handled it pretty realistically and didn't minimize the enormity of the loss. Yet....I can't say I enjoyed this book. The writing was compelling enough. My interest was captured and held throughout the book, but it just seemed unsatisfying somehow and I really can't seem to fully identify why.
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on January 15, 2013
I was totally blown away by the story this book presented. I purchased the book thinking it was another book relating to the author's husband and his accident overseas. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was totally unrelated although skeptical about how good it would be. It is a great book that kept me wanting more of the story. I became absorbed in the characters as they faced the loss of a son and the guilt that followed. A tearjerker but well written.
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on May 12, 2017
It was a great read.
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on December 28, 2012
This was a lovely read. The caracters are very real, love their dialogues and could fill the pain in the situations. The end was very enlightened because this situations can happen to anybody and is good to have this council from a book. The only reason why I dont give it five stars is because of the price. The digital books are escalating and there is no reason since we do not have to keep the good. If this keep going I will return to Costco and bookstores.
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