Thursday, August 28, 2008

Surviving Ben's Suicide: A Woman's Journey of Self-Discovery

Title: Surviving Ben's Suicide: A Woman's Journey of Self-Discovery
Author: C.Comfort Shields
Pages: 233
Yearly Count: 53
Publisher: iUniverse

I was shockingly mistaken in my perceptions about this book. I thought it would be a plain self-helpish, non-fictiony slow, boring to read book, but I loved the way C. Comfort Shields wrote this as a literary memoir! I read every page of this, and held on to it tight. I finished it in a day. Shields is an excellent writer, and I enjoyed her style and honesty throughout the painful process which she writes about. Once I was into this one, I realized just that it really wasn't as distant from me as I had thought. My father-in-law committed suicide, but that was about 4 years before I met and fell in love with my hubby (B). After reading this memoir I understand much better all the pain and guilt that would come from such an abrupt- but not entirely surprising ending to a loved one's life. However I hope to never know how it would feel to have this happen so close to me.

When life ends by one own's hand there are so many questions that come up, so much pain, guilt, suffering and loneliness. A feeling that being all alone, maybe you are responsible, you MUST be responsible. I was so interested in the amount of care Shields put into explaining the sickness, the disease, the illness that lead up to Ben committing suicide. The irate phone calls of blame, the pushing away and pulling in causing Comfort to feel the burden as a harsh reality.

This is not a self- help book, well, it is and it isn't. It is a memoir of a woman who experienced the death of a boyfriend, the suicidal death. Shields is changed through this blow, learning more about herself, more about life and death and relationships. I admire Surviving Ben's Suicide in that it has gone where no other book has gone before, in being the first literary memoir about this topic. Suicide is hard to understand, but even harder to cope with. This is an excellent book to take with you on the journey. An Excellent read for anyone, not just those who have had a loved one commit suicide.

Author C. Comfort Shields Website

Have you reviewed this, let me know and I'll put your review here.
Kathleen's Book Reviews
medieval bookworm


Corinne said...

I love your reviews, friend. I just finished a memoir by a mom who had a stillbirth - and it surprised me for the same reasons. This one looks really good.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad that you loved that book. I wanted to, but I couldn't. I don't know if it was organization of the story or because my own experience with suicide was different. I highly recommend the book though. I think anyone who has experienced suicide should read it. Here is my review.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Bethany! That was me but I forgot to fill out the OpenID stuff... Jennifer

Debi said...

Wonderful review, Bethany! Thank you. I am definitely adding this one to the wish list. I think many more people than we realize are affected by suicide.

Dar said...

Great review Bethany. Very heart felt. I don't know if I could read this book but I think I might give it a try one day. It sounds as though it would really tug on the heart.

Kathleen said...

Great review- the fact that it wasn't 'non fictiony' worked so well to draw me in- and I think really got the 'story' across to everyone.

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