Thursday, May 1, 2014

Review: Things I've Learned From Dying by David R. Dow

"Every life is different, but every death is the same. We live with others. We die alone."

In his riveting, artfully written memoir The Autobiography of an Execution, David Dow enraptured readers with a searing and frank exploration of his work defending inmates on death row. But when Dow's father-in-law receives his own death sentence in the form of terminal cancer, and his gentle dog Winona suffers acute liver failure, the author is forced to reconcile with death in a far more personal way, both as a son and as a father.

Told through the disparate lenses of the legal battles he's spent a career fighting, and the intimate confrontations with death each family faces at home, THINGS I'VE LEARNED FROM DYING offers a poignant and lyrical account of how illness and loss can ravage a family. Full of grace and intelligence, Dow offers readers hope without cliché and reaffirms our basic human needs for acceptance and love by giving voice to the anguish we all face--as parents, as children, as partners, as friends--when our loved ones die tragically, and far too soon.

Received for review.

This was my first experience with the author so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Considering the title I thought that this would be a bit of a downer, but what I discovered was a beautifully written, heartfelt discussion of death and how it affects all our lives.

I found the portions discussing the author's furbaby's (his Doberman Winona) sudden illness and passing to be especially heartbreaking and there were many tears shed.

The ultimate message was not one of sadness and despair over things we cannot change, but one of hope and making every moment that we have together really count.

I really cannot recommend this enough.  It was an excellent, fast read and I definitely look forward to future releases from the author.

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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