The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen is a novel that takes us deep into a family’s grief and subsequent breakdown. How does a family and marriage survive grief or more importantly survive secrets kept that have the ability to tear everyone apart? Once betrayed, how does a family pull itself together, forgive each other, and try to rebuild their lives. The Grief of Others takes us into the the lives of the Ryrie’s and their struggle to rebuild when everything seems to fall apart around them.
The story begins with the loss of John and Ricky’s third child. He’s born with a serious birth defect and lives only fifty-seven hours after his birth. The family is devastated and instead of coming together, they each deal with their grief separately and in their own ways. Ricky throws herself fully into her career at the expense of her family. John really just seems to drift along whereas the kids, thirteen year old Paul and ten year old Biscuit, not really fully understanding what is happening within their family, begin to act out.
John and Ricky who were already on a bit of a rocky road before the death of their third child basically just passing each other by pretending that everything is ok. Yet as tensions build so does their realization that things really weren’t all that stable before either. As the kid’s behavior escalates. so do the issues between John and Ricky. Into this mess comes John’s first child, Jess, who was born when he was only nineteen. He’s never had much contact with her as this is what her mother had wanted. Interesting enough it is Jess who, while not even trying to do so, sets t his family on the path to taking a closer look at what they are doing to each other.
The Grief of Others is beautifully written. The author writes in such a descriptive way that she draws you fully into her story. I truly felt bad for this family and their loss. While I didn’t really feel connected to any of the characters I still really enjoyed the book. I think though I connected somewhat with Biscuit, their daughter, in that she was so young and innocent and ultimately so confused by all that was going on around her. It just really made feel protective towards her. I think this is a great novel for those who like a family saga or novels dealing with the breakdown of families or marriages. It was a good read for me and I read through the novel quickly.
I read The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen for her book tour with TLC Book Tours. You can visit the other tour stops here as well as visiting Leah’s website, blog and finding her on Facebook. Your own copy of The Grief of Others can be purchased here in the US and here in Canada.
My copy of The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen was received for review from TLC Book Tours and the publisher.