Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Review: Room for Two

It is not often I read a book that haunts me the way Room for Two has done. From the opening line to the closing paragraph, this was a book I did not want to put down and has changed the way I think about many things, including mental illness and suicide.

"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away.
A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall.
Everything slowed down.

My heart literally ached with these opening lines. What would it be like to walk in the door and experience something like this? Abel tells us without mincing words. He is extremely honest in telling us what happened and how he came to deal with it and learned to forgive his wife and himself. Written as non-fiction, it reads like fiction and was very easy to immerse myself in. This is a story I would have loved if it was fiction, but knowing it was fact made it reach into the deepest parts of my heart and squeeze.

What is the book about? Let me tell you.

When a life is destroyed, when guilt says you played a role in its destruction, how do you face the days ahead?
Twenty-six-year-old Abel Keogh chooses to ignore the promptings he receives concerning his wife's mental illness, and now he feels he is to blame for her choices. If only he had listened . . .

At some point in our lives, each of us face devastating afflictions and must eventually cope with loss. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome is still the same - we are left isolated, alone, wondering what we could have done differently, and where we can turn for peace.

This is Abel's story in his own words. His search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.

On a more personal level, Room for Two made me realize that I have my own story to share and gave me the couage to begin writing it. If Abel can write about such a painful, sensitive subject, than my fears at exposing myself are negligible.

So, thank you, Sir, for writing words that can stir the soul and improve us in the ways we need, whether big or small. Having the courage to take your life in hand, love again, and share all that you've learned with the rest of us has made you a hero in my eyes.

Purchase Room for Two here.
Room for Two
Trade Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort (August 2007)
ISBN-10: 1599550628
ISBN-13: 978-1599550626

Quote of the Day: "Books want to be born: I never make them. They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such."
~Samuel Butler


Shari said...

It was a very gripping story. I couldn't put it down either. It was a book I not only enjoyed, but learned from, too.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hello, young lady!

What was your final word count from the BIAM?

And I liked this book, too.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Karen - I read this book too. It was an emotional roller coaster ride. Wow. Thanks for your review.

April said...

Wow. I haven't heard about this book, but now I'm going to check it out.

The Margin Wight said...

I haven't read the book, but as I read your review, I found myself wanting more of your thoughts on the reality of events related in the book. I am suspicious of anything labeled "true story," which phrase strikes me as an oxymoron. Either language cannot capture truth (aka reality) or we use language to create a version of reality which is, essentially, a fiction. If this book is intended to be a memoir of real events in a life, then when you say it read like fiction, I wonder whether the author is pulling something over on the reader. On the other hand, if the author makes no pretensions to accuracy, then doesn't he somehow negate the seriousness of the events he experienced? Either way, I am prepared to feel betrayed. What do you think? Am I out to lunch on this?

Karen Hoover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Hoover said...

I'm sorry, when I said it read like fiction, it was actually a compliment. It felt very honest and truthful to me without being preachy. The facts were given and how to interpret them was left up to the reader. What I meant by saying it read like fiction was that it was so well written it seemed as if I were reading a novel. I don't like non-fiction usually. It's boring. This was not boring at all.