Here After: A Memoir

Zibby. Mar. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9781958506325. $23.99. MEMOIR
Educator and debut author Lin’s memoir dazzles. Each chapter breathes with urgency, especially in the opening pages, where she captures the way she met her husband, Kurtis. She shares intimate details that bring him viscerally to life; her book showcases how Kurtis saw her and helped her see herself. She also tugs at her readers’ hearts with interjections of the loss to come. From the beginning, readers know Kurtis will die. The tension between immediacy and memory lends the book an etherealness despite its raw, human vulnerability. When the book comes to the moment of her husband’s death, Lin struggles to retain the shards of herself she’d found with him in his absence. The aftershocks of it engender the remainder of the book, which she has written in poetic, fragmented chapters that convey how deeply people want to find words for what’s wordless, to discover meaning in the meaningless. It offers few moments of relief or respite from the author’s profound sadness, but it’s well worth the read.
VERDICT A poignant book. The author explores grief in its unshakable, impossibly enduring rawness.
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