Friday, September 3, 2010


Ann Hood's memoir Comfort, about the death of her five-year old daughter Grace from strep, resonates with pain, anguish, and loss.

As Hood confesses early in the work, after the death of Grace, she just simply couldn't -- couldn't write, couldn't find words, and couldn't do anything except think of Grace.

Hood's "journey through grief" begins when she takes up knitting, which somehow eventually enables her to take up reading and writing once again.

Even though Comfort is raw, Hood's solemn, yet controlled, prose elicits just the right level of emotion -- as she searches for the words to explain the "weight of sadness" and to show "there is no sense in loss."

What she does convey about grief is "it isn't something you get over. You live with it. You go on with it lodged in you."

The beauty of the memoir is in the telling -- her story both a tribute to the child she lost and a nod to the future that she will have to live without her.

At the end, you will cheer Hood as she and her husband and surviving child find a way to "swim to the other side."



  1. Books like this and Joan Didion's simultaneous intrigue and repel me--I really want to read them, but I'm scared of such extreme sadness.

  2. Do you think I would like it or could handle it?

  3. I love your book reviews. In this case, it has warned me away.

  4. I just downloaded it to my Kindle. It "sounds" like Joan Didion, and I loved that book.