I recommended it in my last book post. And maybe you saw the cover photo hanging out on my sidebar for a while. Well, I’m here to say it loudly and plainly today: IF YOU HAVEN’T READ GLOBAL MOM,YOU MUST!
No need to be modest. The subtitle is pretty impressive: Eight countries. Sixteen addresses. Five languages. One family.
I finished the last chapter right before we left for New Zealand. And for much of the trip I had Melissa’s prose drifting in and out of my mind. Lines. Images. Emotion. Hers is a story that never leaves you. Really. It will forever be a part of you.
I met Melissa several years ago at a writer’s retreat. It was there she shared with me the story of her son Parker. How, only three years earlier, he had drowned trying to save a friend who had been sucked into a churning vortex of water in a rural Idaho canal. He was 18. I watched her explain the details of that awful, awful experience with so much strength and composure I wondered how in the world she could talk about it. How had she survived it all? And then her voice broke. And reverence filled the space we shared. Sublime, heartbreaking silence.
Since then we have kept in touch via email, discussed grief, writing, and heavenly ministrations. I like to think – at least on my end – that we have connected when it comes to matters of the heart. Because I truly love her soul.
Several months ago Melissa asked if I would write a review of her book for Meridian Magazine, which I was delighted to do. But when it came right down to it, the assignment was tougher than I had anticipated. Melissa writes in her book about life abroad – the adventure, the assimilation to new countries, the challenge of learning new languages and customs, the joy of raising her family with so much exposure to all kinds of cultures. And then the last third of the book, she plunges straight into the death of their son Parker and the years of grief that followed. She tells us what she learned, how she was not necessarily healed, but transformed.
I have read sections aloud to a dozen people. I have laughed, marveled, swooned. And I have wept. Not single-kleenex-tears, but handfuls. Her experience yanks the world of its axis, makes you look at those you love with new eyes, makes you want to love more purely than you have before.
I wanted so much to do her story justice. Wanted to pull out the right anecdotes and passages. Wanted to say the right things. And there was so much one could say!
The review went live today. You can read it here. But last night I confessed to her via email, “I fear my words are inadequate. I mean let’s face it. Our writing is on entirely different levels. I’m the padawan. You are the Jedi.” And it couldn’t be more true.
But this is what I received back from her:
My sweet Catherine:
I was comforted by her words. By the image of her in a Swiss village bent toward her screen. She is as compassionate as she is smart. Even her emails have a lilt to them, create a picture, make you see what language can do.
I hope in my review I was able to convey the value of a work like hers. How important it is that we read these kind of narratives. Ones that don’t sweep grief aside with tidy resolution. Because here’s the reality. Once a life you love is cut off like that, you never stop grieving.
While the land of loss is not a place Melissa would want any parent to tread, it is a place, she writes, where she has learned endless much.
I’m so grateful to Melissa. That she would share her story with the world. Particularly the darkest moments. For they are the ones that make her story credible, accessible, and inestimable.
Pop over to Meridian and read the review, then leave a comment here on my blog if you’d like a chance to receive a copy of Global Mom. I will choose a winner early next week and will ship anywhere in the world. I mean, we’re talking global, right? And Melissa’s book ought to be read by everyone, everywhere.
Global Mom is available at any national bookseller and on Amazon. Melissa’s second book, Loss and Living Onward, will be available May 2014.
Lastly, don’t miss this beautiful video Michelle Lehnardt put together for Melissa. You will see in an instant that she is as captivating as her story.
GLOBAL MOM a memoir by Melissa Dalton-Bradford from Michelle Lehnardt on Vimeo.
Thank you for writing that review and sharing this book! I would love a copy!
knit one, knit two
What a fascinating life! I would love to read more. Off to put it on my amazon wish list…
I would love this for my sister in-law that lost her 2 year old in a drowning in September. She is deep in the raw emotions of grief and is looking for anyone who can help her.
Global Mom had been on my wish list for a few months and last weekend when Amazon was running a book promo, I bought it for myself (I suppose a perk of being an adult is being able to buy presents for yourself sometimes!). I'm impressed with impact it's had on you as a reader. The depth of your review–and still I imagine that you couldn't put everything into words. My copy hasn't arrived; however, with such a strong recommendation, I know I'd love another copy to gift/share with my extended family.
It has been on my list – I would love to win!
Wow, that was a good review. Would love to read it.
I have seen this book on your blog side-bar and would love to win it (I loved listening to the Power of Moms book that I won on your last give-away! Thank you for that!). I do not mean to only comment on your book give-a ways; I am always inspired by your thoughts in all of your posts.
Thanks for always uplifting me as mother!
You know what — I'd really love to read this book, so I'm heading right over to A.mazon to see if it is available in Europe.
Melissa is in Switzerland. You could probably take a train to her and have her sign your book! 😉 xo
Cool idea — where in Switzerland? We are going to visit my father soon, and he's just across the border from Switzerland (from Schaffhausen).
P.S.: *bigsecreton*we might be movíng to China next year, so that is one of the reasons I'd appreciate Melissa's insights*bigsecretoff*.
As a former Suisse Miss (Geneva, Switzerland missionary), I always dreamed of living abroad with my family. It hasn't happened but we can always dream, right? The topic of Melissa's book would be a fascinating read!
Shelah raved about this book…gave it exceptionally high praise. So I MUST read it! I'd love to win your copy and then gift it to someone else. I like giving gifts of books I've read to someone I know would enjoy it. ♥
I have my own copy!! Catherine, I wanted you to remember something. If you are a padawan and Melissa is a writing jedi, it also means that you both have the recognized force within you. Don't forget!! I love you both so much.
Mel, I had never considered the analogy from your perspective, but I like it! 🙂 I'm going to honor that teensy, struggling, inner force and try to cultivate it. Sure love you! Let's get together in January. xo
I don't know why I haven't read this yet. Melissa was so lovely to me after Brent's death. I've been intending to read it, but you know how it goes with intentions.
I have heard this is so awesome! Put me in for the give away! Thanks Cath! Love – Ash
Wow, Cath. Your review is compelling! I would love to read this!! You are so talented yourself. Miss you!
Kelly W Walker
Catherine–I love reading everything you write, and now your writing has me excited to reading something another talented lady wrote!
Thanks for the opportunity, Cath! Would love to win.
Kisses from Europe!
I'd love to read this! I'm pretty sure my friend Emi is related to Melissa…I've heard great things about this book.
Beautiful review. I hope to win.
You are so talented! What a beautiful review. I would love a copy of this book. Her story sounds touching and inspiring.
Cath, thanks for reviewing such amazing books. My list of books to read continues to expand because of you!
Cath, I found your blog a couple months ago through Meridian Magazine and I feel like it was an answer to prayers. I actually went back to your first post and just read and read. You are such a beautiful writer, the quotes and scriptures you use are incredible, and I have honestly laughed and cried at your various posts. Thank you for sharing your wild and precious life. It has truly made me look so differently at motherhood and appreciate my own wild and precious life. You are so honest and without guile. I have even started reading Annie Dillard because of you and just finished 1000 Gifts. Thank you for sharing your love of reading! I will definitely be reading Global Mom. Thank you again for keeping up with your blog. I so appreciate it.
Ashlee – what a gift of words to receive. It's feedback like yours that makes me think maybe all this effort is worth something. Thank you so much for responding here. I peeked at your blog – your beautiful, happy family. What a sweet and wonderful life you are living. Thanks for reaching out. Wishing you a Merry, Merry Christmas and blessings in your motherhood journey. xo
This sounds like an amazing book! Thanks Cath!! 🙂
For S. Saxey – who entered four times but couldn't get it to work. Not sure why! But here! I've entered for you! MS Dibble. You're in the running. xo
This looks like a wonderful book, would love to read it,, thanks, Janene
This book is on my list of books to read, thanks to you. I would love to win a copy.
Oh, I keep meaning to pick this up! Maybe I'll win it instead!
This looks like a wonderful read. Thanks for pointing me to it! I would love a copy.
What a wonderful sounding book. I would love a copy!
Beautiful review Cath! I have been reading your blog for a long time now and have always found your words enchanting and poetic, also worthy of the Jedi title!
Global Mom has been on my list for some time now, and after reading your review I just purchased a copy. With a recent move to Indonesia myself, I am excited to read Melissa's insights into this Global life and raising children abroad.