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Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hopeby Amy Welborn
Synopses & Reviews
Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope is the story of Amy Welborn’s trip to the island of Sicily with three of her children five months after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack. Her journey through city and countryside, small town and ancient ruins, opens unexpected doors of memory and reflection, a pilgrimage of the heart and an exploration of the soul. It is an observant and wry memoir and travelogue, intensely personal yet speaking to universal experiences of love and loss.
Along the narrow roads and hairpin turns, the narrative reveals the beauty of the ordinary and the commonplace and asks stark questions about how we fill the empty places that a loved one leaves behind. It is a meditation on the possibility of faith, one that is unflinching, uncompromising, and altogether unsentimental when confronted by the ultimate test of belief. This book is not only a well-told memoir, but a testimony to the truth that love is stronger than death.
"The death of a spouse is never easy; Joan Didion's precise and vulnerable reflection on it has prompted a growing chorus from other writers. When that spouse is in the prime of life, the devastation is even more profound. Welborn, popular author and Catholic commentator, pours out her struggles, doubts, and pain after losing her husband, Michael, to a heart attack. This tragedy left her, in midlife, as a single mother of two young children. The author is known for her writing about the Catholic faith, which is typically clear and direct. This is probably her most vulnerable work to date, and she does not hesitate to express the deep sadness that prompted faith questions. She decides to travel with her children to Sicily five months after Michael's death while still wrapped in the hazy fog of grief. The journey helps her reflect deeply on her joyous and painful memories, thus opening up the possibility of some healing. This story is very personal, but it will satisfy anyone looking to work through his or her own grief and loss. Particularly moving is Welborn's account of going through her husband's belongings to decide what to keep as 'strong relics' and what to give away. This is a demanding task, but the author injects a hint of spirituality into this exercise that seems to indicate a small step forward in hope." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
AMY WELBORN has written for Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic News Service, Beliefnet, the New York Times, and Commonweal. She has five children and lives in Birmingham, Alabama.
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