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M.T. Dohaney

Porters Lake (N.S.), Pottersfield Press, 1989. 78pp, paper, $8.95
ISBN 0-919001-56-1. CIP

Grades 12 and up/Ages 17 and up
Reviewed by Susan E. Fowler.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

This short but very powerful book is actually a journal written over the course of the year immediately following the sudden death of the author's spouse. The journal entries are addressed to Dohaney's late husband, but this book is far more than just a one­sided conversation - it allows the reader to experience in an incredibly real way the author's thoughts and feelings as she works through the grieving process and attempts to continue with her life.

Dohaney, author of the critically acclaimed Corrigan Women (Ragweed Press, 1988), has a simple, straightforward writing style. She describes her reaction to all the "firsts" that occur after the death of a loved one - the first day back at work, the first snowstorm, the first church service, the first holiday, and finally the first anniversary of his death. Through her emotional response to these experiences, the reader gains a very personal insight into her sorrow. She describes initial disbelief, anger, preoccupation with death, guilt, and especially loneliness as she gradually begins to accept the death of her husband.

Dohaney's day-by-day approach also indirectly provides very practical advice on how to deal with the life-style changes that come with widowhood. Completing necessary paperwork, coping with changed financial circumstances, disposing of clothes and other possessions, and attending social functions alone are only some of the issues dealt with in the course of the journal.

This book is highly recommended for those who have been recently bereaved or those with a friend or relative in that circumstance. All empathetic readers will be affected by Dohaney's powerful writing.

Susan E. Fowler, Centennial S.S., Belleville, Ont.
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