Two exciting book reviews this week. Exciting because they’re my first two. Ever.*
Publisher’s Weekly writes that “Sweeney writes with a deft touch and with empathy for mourners, whose stories she relays with clarity and care.”
I feel like breathing a sigh of relief, y’all, just to hear someone in book-reviewing-authorityland say that they liked it. While in reality, I’m not shocked—I believe I wrote a fine book—I ALSO have just been so close to it for so long that I forget it might actually function successfully out in the world. Does that make any sense at all? I feel a little like one of my heroes who does a very different kind of writing, Allie Brosh of the brilliant cartoon Hyperbole and a Half. She wrote somewhere that when she left home to start her first book tour, she half-expected her publishers to meet her at the airport and say something like “Haha! There’s no book! You actually believed us! Fool!” This first review is the opposite of that evil laugh laden nightmare.
Just as Cool
I also got this really nice review from a reader via Netgalley. Katherine Pitts wrote: “I kept reading bits of it aloud to those around me and mentioning it in conversation…”
Here’s the thing. To see an actual reader—not a “pro” of any sort—say that the book made death fascinating to her, just made my day. I wrote her a thank-you note. (This may seem weird to you, but it’s how I was raised.) I did not write in this thank-you note: “Good! It worked! The book worked! Hahaha!” even though that’s what I felt like writing. “Worked” meaning: “Communicated the thing in the meaningful way I’d hoped.” Oh, thankgoodnessitworked. Even for one person.
(Note: You can still pre-order the book at your local bookseller, or on Amazon. But you knew that.)
(*I had decided not to read reviews at all, but then my husband emailed me the Publisher’s Weekly link with the note: “Uhh, I really think you should check this out.”)
Oh, and finally, thanks to Creative Loafing Atlanta for naming me one of “20 People to Watch” in 2014. I’m just warning you: I’m a terrible dancer. Enthusiastic, though. That might be worth watching for a minute or two.