"[Adleman] dissects the feelings that have been a part of her since her mother's death with the precision and brutality of a poet and all the awful beauty of a perfectly performed major surgery...It's one of the most beautiful things you're likely to read."
“Sarah Adleman writes, “Time dictates we are always moving forward, even when grief dictates we stop.” Yet, in this collection, somehow it seems we’re at a standstill. As I read this stunning collection of essays, I moved backwards in time and into Adleman’s grief. Make no mistake—it broke my heart. But that’s the power in her writing—the essays are terrifying and tender and will break you, but you’ll work your way through it, as there’s no other way around it, and slowly you’ll put your heart back together, as Adleman reconciles the magnifying loss of her mother. Some moments you’ll swim in the sadness, other moments you’ll float from above, and in some you’ll see slivers of beauty. In the end, she writes, “I want to feel again and again and again.” And she does just that, all the while reminding you of what it means to be alive, even on the threshold of pain. I love this beautiful book.”
Liz Schied, author of The Shape of Blue
“To call Sarah Adleman’s memoir profound and beautiful would be a grossly inadequate attempt to describe a brilliant, deeply moving yet unflinchingly unsentimental exploration of grief I could never in my life have begun to imagine, at least not until now: a blended-genre collage of historical, scientific, autobiographical and deeply spiritual nonfiction, poetry and prose poetry, including the poetry written by Adleman’s wise, remarkable mother. This memoir asks some of the most difficult questions anyone can ask: How is acceptance and forgiveness even possible in the face of unspeakable cruelty and violence? How is it possible even to describe, much less to find the right metaphors for, unspeakable pain and grief? Yet through her most profound struggles, Adleman finds a way, taking us on long journeys by train, across snowy landscapes, even to sweat lodges and Tibet, making a deep dive into such a complex array of extended metaphors that she can finally bring herself, and us, to a kind of understanding and acceptance. Before now, I could not have imagined a more courageous, life-changing memoir than this, yet here it is, a loving tribute to Adleman’s long-grieving father and lost mother.”
Lex Williford, author of Macauley’s Thumb and Superman on the Roof.
“In this memoir, Adleman manages to keep us engaged by nimbly encompassing several literary genres, experimental narrative devices, cultural references and mini-history lessons, but never forgetting its main goal: to be deeply personal, intimate and humane, which is what good memoirs should always be.”
José de Piérola, author of Fabulations and many others
“This is tragedy turned upside down into understanding. An astounding and moving book.”
Tom Russel, singer/songwriter/essayist/painter