It’s a memoir of grief and travel, an interplay between the immediate aftermath of Mike’s death and the trip we took to Sicily a few months later.
I’m glad it’s here. It’s been 2 1/2 years in the writing and production. I think it’s a good book, and I know it’s a true book. Even though it’s got loss at the center, I don’t think it’s a downer – in fact, if it is I’ve failed.
It’s not just a compilation of blog posts, either. Those of you who have been long-time readers will certainly recognize some of the stories I tell, but there is much that will be new to you. The writing is also (I hope) tighter and more artful, thanks to the gift of time as well as the hard and patient work of my editor, Gary Jansen.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an interview with Greg and Jennifer Willits on their “Catholics Next Door” program on the Sirius/XM Catholic Channel. During that interview, Greg offered an observation which assured me that I’d accomplished what I set out to do. He said that while he had never experienced loss at this close of a range, what he had experienced in life was other kind of losses: lost opportunities, chances, wrong turns and regrets. The book, he said, was an answer to that kind of loss, as well. I was, as I said, so grateful to hear that because that was exactly my purpose: to show the reader a landscape that is recognizable, whether or not he has experienced death in this way, whether or not she has ever been to Sicily. For a life marked by loss, incompleteness and a nagging sense that this can’t be all there is, even as we walk through the ruins of the past? I think that’s where we all live.
Over at my other blog – to which I am turning my attention with more energy now – I have started posting a few photos associated with each chapter. I’m up to chapter 19, and will finish today. Click on the “Sicily Photos” on the top menu bar.
Update again (2/16)