Synopses & Reviews
Ten years ago, Kate Braestrup, her husband, Drew, and their four young children were enjoying a morning like any other. Then Drew, a Maine state trooper, left for work and everything changed. On the very roads that he patrolled each day, an oncoming driver lost control, and Kate lost her husband. "Stunned and grieving, Kate decided to pursue what had been her husband's dream and became a minister. And soon she found a most unusual calling: serving as chaplain for search-and-rescue missions in the Maine woods, giving comfort to people whose loved ones are missing - and to the wardens who sometimes have to deal with dreadful outcomes. Whether with parents whose six-year-old daughter has vanished into the woods, with wardens as they search for a snowmobiler trapped under the ice, or with a man whose sister left an infant seat and a suicide note in her car by the side of the road, Braestrup provides solace, understanding, and spiritual guidance when they're needed most. Here If You Need Me recounts Kate Braestrup's journey from grief to faith to happiness.
"'It may take ingenuity to interest browsers in a memoir by a middle-aged mother who, 11 years ago, was suddenly widowed, then became a Unitarian-Universalist minister, and now works as chaplain to game wardens in Maine. But good memoir writing does not depend on celebrity or adventure who'd have thought that a self-confessed recovering neurotic like Anne Lamott or a monastically inclined poet like Kathleen Norris would make it big? and Braestrup's insightful essays are extraordinarily well written, mingling elements of police procedural and touching love story with trenchant observations about life and death. Alert to comic detail even in grisly circumstances (bears, for example, like to play ball with human skulls), she tells stories of lost children, a suicide, drunken accidents and a murder, always with compassion and a concern for the big questions inescapably provoked by tragic events. 'Why did Dad die?' her children ask, and her response describes not only her theology but also her reason for being a chaplain: 'Nowhere in scripture does it say 'God is a car accident' or 'God is death.' God is justice and kindness, mercy, and always always love. So if you want to know where God is in this or in anything, look for love.'' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"Moving, clever, and funny; highly recommended." Library Journal
"[A] comforting book....Braestrup has fulfilled her mission to tell her and her husband's unusual story in a loving and captivating way." USA Today
"It's a must-read for any parent who has tried to answer a child's hard questions or for anyone who has struggled to find meaning. Best of all, this remarkable true story is told with uncommon candor, grace and humor." Christian Science Monitor
"[An] honest, endearing account of a life rerouted after devastating loss." Seattle Times
"Love story, theological reflections, heartwarming family yarns and more all intersect under Braestrup's nurturing hand." Rocky Mountain News
"[A] superbly crafted memoir of love, loss, grief, hope and the complex subtleties of faith." Washington Post
HERE IF YOU NEED ME is the story Kate Braestrup's remarkable journey from grief to faith to happiness - as she holds her family together in the wake of her husband's death, pursues his dream of becoming a minister, and ultimately finds her calling as a chaplain to search-and-rescue workers. It is dramatic, funny, deeply moving, and simply unforgettable--an uplifting account offinding God through helping others, and of the small miracles that happen every day when a heart is grateful and love isrestored.
About the Author
Braestrup's novel Onion was published by Viking in 1990, and she has since published a series of magazine articles in Mademoiselle, Ms., City Paper, Hope and Law and Order. She lives in Maine.