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The Grief of Others ~ Leah Hager Cohen

October 7, 2011

Genre: Adult Fiction/Family Drama
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
384 pages
ISBN: 9781594488054
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours 

I started reading this earlier this week and I almost emailed Trisha to say I couldn’t handle this, right now. I’m glad that I pushed on, though because, aside from the obvious hard topics (hello, it’s called The GRIEF of Others), the story is a fabulous one.

The hardest part for me was the axis of the story, centered on the loss of a couple’s child only fifty-seven hours after birth, just struck so close to my current fear and personal situation. The death of infants isn’t generally a topic handled well by those camping out in the NICU. The story is much deeper than that, though, thank goodness.

The story, it turns out, is to put it simply, an analysis of family life in times of peace and times of stress. It looks upon the way we all handle sorrow and joy and how we crack under the pressure of simple things, yet, carry on through the hardest things.

The book is one of those great epic things that shows life through the rotating perspectives, sort of a village-to-raise-a-story thing. All of the characters are endearing, though at times I wanted to shake some of them. That, the shaking bit, is one of the things that work for the story as the players are so very real and it’s easy to see yourself in the position of making the same mistakes.

Though this was a hard topic to explore for me, right now, I think it may have done me a world of good since it offered several thoughts on how to handle hard situations. I’ll be interested in reading this in a few years to see if it hits me the same way when I am outside of the current setting. Over all a very good read, even if you yourself, are going through a hard period.


About Leah Hager Cohen
Leah Hager Cohen is the author of four nonfiction books, including Train Go Sorry and Glass, Paper, Beans, and three novels, most recently House Lights. Among the honors her books have received are selection as a New York Times Notable Book (four times); American Library Association Ten Best Books of the Year; and a Booksense 76 Pick. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review.

Visit Leah at her website,, and read her blog, Love as a Found Object. Join Leah’s fanpage on Facebook.

Check out the other reviews for the tour:

Tuesday, September 13th: Jenn’s Bookshelves

Wednesday, September 14th: Book Addiction

Thursday, September 15th: BookNAround

Monday, September 19h: Colloquium

Monday, September 19th: Crazy for Books

Tuesday, September 20th: Life In Review

Wednesday, September 21st: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews

Thursday, September 22nd: A Cozy Reader’s Corner

Tuesday, September 27th: Library of Clean Reads

Wednesday, September 28th: That’s What She Read

Monday, October 3rd: A Bookish Way of Life

Tuesday, October 4th: In the Next Room

Wednesday, October 5th: Laura’s Reviews

Thursday, October 6th: Peeking Between the Pages

Friday, October 7th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog

Wednesday, October 12th: The House of the Seven Tails

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2011 6:29 pm

    I think this book sounds really good and thoughtful and I appreciate hearing what you were able to take from it despite it being a difficult read for you.

  2. October 8, 2011 10:59 am

    That should be a lesson for all. How many times do I say “well, I might read this in the right mood” but who is ever in the mood for such a thing? And you appreciated it, even when it is probably the last book you would have chosen for yourself at this moment.

  3. October 8, 2011 12:01 pm

    Wow, I really admire you for reading this one at such a delicate moment in your life. I can imagine that it must have been pretty hard for you. It does sound like a book that really gets to the heart of relationships amidst grief, and I am really interested in it. Great review on this one.

  4. October 11, 2011 7:31 pm

    “That, the shaking bit, is one of the things that work for the story as the players are so very real and it’s easy to see yourself in the position of making the same mistakes.” It certainly seems like the author brought these characters to life for you!

    I’m glad this was such a good read in spite of the difficult subject matter. Thanks for being on the tour.

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