Thursday, January 19, 2012

BlogHer Book Club: The Underside of Joy

There are some books I love but still have a tiny part of myself that regrets reading it. The January BlogHer Book Club book The Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halverson is one of those. It was a beautifully written book that absolutely pulls you in to a heartbreaking story. I wasn't even at the end of the book when I had tears rolling down my cheeks and the sniffles coming faster and faster.


I regret reading it only for the thinking it made me do about my own life. As Ella loses her husband Joe to a freak accident, she has to put her life back together. There is so much that she doesn't know about their life together - financial and otherwise - and they haven't done much of the preparation that any couple really should. Let me just put this out there: neither have I. And that's scary to me because I know I need to get my act together, but I feel like I'm courting fate if I do. Stupid, right?

The book explores the tragedy of Ella's new life, where her two step-children also have to face the future, in many ways uncertain for them just as it is for Ella. The writing evokes strong emotions, as they so clearly show the pain and the fear and confusion all the characters exhibit. And I won't say any more to avoid ruining the book for you - because I do recommend you read it. It was a good one, though admittedly not the type of book I usually pick up. This is why I love book clubs!

Come join the discussion over at the BlogHer Book Club, whether you've read it or not. There promise to be some great thought-provoking conversations.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received an advance copy of "The Underside of Joy" for review purposes. I was also compensated for my participation in this campaign. That said, all opinions remain my own.

6 comments:

Pat January 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM  

Jerry has always been one to plan ahead and he even has a file in our file cabinet called "DEATH." He occasionally says, "If I die first, remember to....Look in the death file...," etc. We had a 100-page Revocable Living Trust drawn up by an estate lawyer so that our kids won't have to go through the long probate process after we die. We've already paid for our urns and cremation. It sounds really morbid, but now neither of us and none of our sons will have to worry about that--it's all taken care of. No mortuary will prey on the emotions of our sons to spend many thousands of dollars on the casket/burial. Hope this doesn't turn your stomach!

Tami January 20, 2012 at 6:53 AM  

My in-laws have a file for us for the time when we will need it. It does sound morbid, but it is also a fact of life. My husband and I need to get our act together too! Freak accidents CAN happen and they are something you never, ever plan on. Thanks for recommending the book. I am always looking for something new to read.

Sarah January 20, 2012 at 6:53 AM  

I also read the book for Blogher and I totally agree with you! As much as I enjoyed it, I felt like it left a bad taste in my mouth...maybe because it made me realize I am not prepared for such catastrophic events in my own life!

Headless Mom January 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM  

My parents have all of this done, thank goodness.

Us on the other hand, not so much. I used to have nightmares about this happening when my daughter was younger because I was certain that her bio mom would take her away from me and my sons. Thankfully she's 21 now and can make those decisions for herself.

Also, my husband would be the one that would be in hot water. I keep trying to show him how to pay the bills online "just in case" and he does the *fingers in ears singing Lalalalalalalalalalalallalalala thing* *sigh*

Heather E January 20, 2012 at 9:08 PM  

I really want to read this. I haven't even thought about a "death plan" for myself. 27 seems too young but you really do NEVER know what happens. When I had surgery last year, I created a living will due to the Catholic hospital that I had surgery, but I suppose I should update it due to the different choices in my life now!

Michelle January 21, 2012 at 9:16 PM  

Pat - That is awesome that you are so prepared. It is such a gift to all your family that you've done so, and I love that you've done it. I know my husband and I need to get our act together and do more of that. Great job!

Tami - It sounds morbid on the surface, but I think of what a relief it is for everyone surviving who doesn't have to add all that to the stress they're already under. Those freak accidents absolutely can happen!

Sarah - Exactly. There are so many things we need to do, and sitting down and discussing them with my husband is probably step 1!

Kendra - I know my parents have, as well. I have their lawyer's card in my wallet, *just* in case. I get the lalalalala but oh the disaster it could be.

Heather - It seems to young, but it's scary to realize that it isn't at all. Those freak accidents occur. I would definitely update that living will for you!

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