This 2018 collection of essays called to me from the display shelf at the public library because it was in large print and the cover design was appealing. The book’s subtitle is “Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say.” Huffington Post called the author “the poet laureate of the ordinary”, and says she deals with “the essential phrases that turn the wheel of life.”
Corrigan includes essays dealing with the loss (death) of a best friend and of her father and how both deaths affected all of their families. It is her meditation on life, love, and loss. Another reviewer said, “This book is about things we say to people we love [including ourselves] that make things better.” Much of the book flows in narrative form while the author thinks about events and happenings that occur. She “speaks” aloud to herself and to the reader. Oftentimes the essays brought me to tears. My favorite in this category was “Onward,” a letter written to Liz (the deceased best friend) letting her know how Liz’s husband and daughters are doing a year after her death. It is moving and hopeful.
Although the book was “sad” in tone, it was also uplifting and downright inspiring. Altogether, I am glad I chose to read this book.