Disaster Falls

Disaster Falls

A Family Story

Book - 2017
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"A haunting chronicle of what endures when the world we know is swept away. On a day like any other, on a rafting trip down Utah's Green River, Stephane Gerson's eight-year-old son, Owen, drowned in a spot known as Disaster Falls. That same night, as darkness fell, Stephane huddled in a tent with his wife, Alison, and their older son, Julian, trying to understand what seemed inconceivable. 'It's just the three of us now,' Alison said over the sounds of a light rain and, nearby, the rushing river. 'We cannot do it alone. We have to stick together.' Disaster Falls chronicles the aftermath of that day and their shared determination to stay true to Alison's resolution. At the heart of the book is Stephane's portrait of a marriage critically tested. Husband and wife grieve in radically different ways that threaten to isolate each of them in their post-Owen worlds. ('He feels so far,' Stephane says, when Alison shows him a selfie Owen had taken. 'He feels so close,' she says). With beautiful specificity, Stephane shows how they resist that isolation and reconfigure their marriage from within. As Stephane navigates his grief, the memoir expands to explore how society reacts to the death of a child. He depicts the 'good death' of his father, which enlarges Stephane's perspective on mortality. He excavates the history of the Green River--rife with hazards not mentioned in the rafting company's brochures. He explores how stories can both memorialize and obscure a person's life--and how they can rescue us. Disaster Falls is a powerful account of a life cleaved in two--raw, truthful, and unexpectedly consoling"-- Provided by publisher.
"A piercing and luminescent catalogue of a father's grief, parsing the shapes and distances of profound loss into a way forward for a family in crisis"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Crown,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101906699
1101906693
Branch Call Number: B Gerson 2017
Characteristics: 258 pages ; 22 cm

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mdextras
Feb 20, 2017

I read a review in the New York Times about this book and I am not quite sure why I was drawn to it. It is a compelling read, the reflections of a father's grief after the death of his 8 year old son in a drowning accident. Writing this story, all the intricate details of his thoughts, the process he went through and his perception of his wife's grief in the three years following the accident are so well written and heartfelt. I could not put it down sometimes and other times, especially when he finally begins to describe the accident itself, I had to put it down for a day. I could not have read it at that point without sobbing.

It is not a book you enjoy but rather a book you read to help you understand grief, whether you have suffered through it or not. I don't think I could recommend this book other than if someone asked me if I know of any books on grief. If you are grieving the loss of someone close and you would like to find a way to push through the grief, this may be the book for you.

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