bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments > comment: the grief of others [sound recording] : [a novel] /
Subscribe via RSS 
The grief of others [sound recording] : [a novel]
Cohen, Leah Hager.
Adult Fiction COHEN

Comments  Summary  Reviews  Author Notes

From Publishers' Weekly:

Cohen's fourth novel is a meditation on loss, ssuffering, and secrets. The death of John and Ricky Ryrei's third child pushes the family to the brink of disintegration. The children, "Biscuit" and Paul, 10 and 13, deal in different ways: Biscuit creates private rituals and Paul, overweight and bullied, clings to his only friend, Baptiste, who also faces loss. Ricky's confession that she kept knowledge that might have saved their baby to herself pushes John away, but also results in a surprising shift in their "marital relations." The arrival of John's illegitimate daughter, Jess, brings hope to the family, but the secrets she carries will only further complicate matters. Cohen aptly illustrates the capacity to suffer privately beneath a normal exterior, succeeding best when exploring Ricky's many conflicts. Cohen seems to suggest that our inability to communicate leaves us struggling in our own private, tortured worlds. Yet, paradoxically, when feelings are finally articulated, the novel flounders. Still, this is an ambitious novel offering insight into the rift between the public and the private, and illuminating the many ways in which we deal with tragedy. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Losing a newborn baby is terrible enough, but when the baby comes wrapped in a shroud of secrets, intense grief often sends family members flying apart. The Ryries are just such a family. Ricky managed a pretense of happiness after learning through a routine examination that her fetus was doomed. Her husband, John, happily employed at a fraction of his wife's salary, stays patient in the face of what he thinks is a hormonal maelstrom. Then the baby arrives and departs 57 hours later, and all emotional hell breaks loose. Ten-year-old Biscuit may have the clearest path to mourning her lost brother, if only those around her would pay attention. Bullied 13-year-old Paul is caught short when Jess, John's older daughter from a college romance, arrives unannounced for an extended stay after an eight-year absence, burdened with her own ill-timed secrets. VERDICT Cohen's (House Lights) stunning writing and ruthless, beautiful magnification of soul-crushing sorrow that threatens the Ryries' day-to-day family life mesmerizes, wounds, and possibly even heals her readers. Her courageous novel (she knows of what she writes) is to be savored. [See Prepub Alert, 3/7/11.]-Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor District Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Be the first to add a comment! Share your thoughts about this title. Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

Question about returns, requests or other account details?
 Add a Comment
Submission Guidelines

Find this title in the Library Catalog
Find this title in the Library Catalog

more titles about

recent comments
hcl mobile app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS