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Review-"Talking To The Dead" And My Own Parent's Grief When They Were Left Widowed

Review-"Talking To The Dead" by Bonnie Grove
David C. Cook , Published 2009, 368 pages--with additional information entitled Afterwords.

Kate is a 28 year old recent widow, immediately after the funeral of her recently departed husband Kevin, she begins hearing him speak to her. She does not see him, he does not carry on a conversation with her, yet he will speak to her and she is as to be expected unnerved by this. She reaches out for help from several different people, each with their own brand of help. Kate slips further away, she will not sleep in what was their bedroom, does not care for herself, and wonders if she is loosing her mind. Her life as she knew it is over, and she cannot seem to move forward.
Kate is one of the few characters that I'd ever read that I was given such a large polarizing depth into her personality and psyche. She is presented at her worst: without bathing and sleeping, not eating well, she is vulnerable and lonely, lost and forsaken. She is also beautiful, strong, feisty, saucy, funny, and at times resilient.
In "Talking To The Dead" I felt bewildered as to what was going on with Kate, is she mentally ill? Where is the author taking me on this story of Kate?
At times I was angry with Kate, and also with other characters that were "trying to help her."
I wondered who is the enemy in this story? What are the deeper revelations going to be?
I felt the author did a splendid job in describing how a widow would feel.
The writer wrote of the unnoticed things that many people don't stop to notice: the clouds, expressions, a lisp, a twitch.
There are many scenes that are emotionally confrontational, gripping, candid, raw.
I was not disappointed in the conclusion on this chapter of Kate's life. I felt that even though this is a fictional novel it touched honestly the wrenching depths of pain and sadness, loss, depression, and grief.
I loved this book, it was not a pretty book, nor a great love ballad; it was an arresting story that tells us that grieving is not always a neat and tidy package.

I must explain that both of my parents were widowed at young ages. My mother was left a widow at age 31 in 1957, she had 3 small children, had not worked in several years, had a mortgage and a car payment. My mother was a lovely woman and she often had interested men check in on her (some were married).
My dad was 37 in 1960 when his wife died, he was left with a 7 year old young daughter. Dad had a job and he had to find someone to help care for his daughter when she came home from school, the woman that he found to watch his daughter he would later marry (my mother), and then I came along.
Both of my parents and especially my mother shared with me their grief, loneliness, pain, and consuming fear as to what they were going to do.
My dad has now outlived another wife, as my mother died in March 2008 of end stage Alzheimer's.
Daddy thought that after a time he would stop thinking so much of mother. I told him that is impossible. We don't stop thinking of them, nor do we stop loving them, but we do learn a new way of living without them.
My mother until she could not longer talk to me of her past, would continue to share stories of her husband Walter that had died, and the life that they'd had. She told me it was a long time before she stopped looking for him to come home from work, or to stop setting a place for him at the dinner table.
There is a large dark void where the person that you loved so much is no longer there.
Mother said that after Walter died she expected the world to stop, but the sun still came up the next morning, and people still went to work, and she had 3 children to care for.
It was during this time that mother would stay up late at night after her children were in bed, and she would read and study the scriptures, the Lord ministered to her, and comforted her. She said she could almost feel the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit. 
What my parents and siblings lived through and experienced made a deep impression in my life. When I read a story of a widow or widower, I compare what my parents went through and my dad is still going through.
I apologize, what my parent's went through is too ingrained in me to not let it filter in to my opinions.

Blissful Reading!


Bonnie Grove said…
Thank you for the lovely review of my book. And thank you for sharing your own, deeply affecting story of loss and hope through Christ.
Many blessings,
Bonnie Grove
Thank you Bonnie, I am always honored to have an author leave a comment for me.
You are a gracious lady....and a wonderful writer!
Thank you.