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Monday, January 6, 2014

Unremarried Widow: A Memoir

I jumped at the chance to read this memoir--and I... This is Artis Henderson's Unremarried Widow.

Artis never imagined she would end up here, married to the Army and living in Texas, madly in love with her soul mate. She always thought she would marry later in life after traveling the world and becoming a writer. Miles, though, changed her life. When he deploys to Iraq less than a year into their marriage, she moves home to Florida to be with her family. She never expected that he would be killed in action and she would become what the military terms an "unremarried widow"--at age 26.

This. Book. Killed. Me. I cried. Aloud. I was laying in bed, absorbed in the story, and I found myself in the deepest depths of grief when word came that Miles had been killed. I knew it would come--it's the premise of the book, for crying out loud. But I loved Miles, and I loved Artis, and I loved their relationship so much it hurt. I was rooting for them and for Miles to live even though I knew that it just wasn't possible. If I just think right, though, maybe he won't go away. I can change the events of the past, right?!?

Henderson is a beautiful writer whose pathos runs down to the depths of the ocean. She is so human in her writing and so purposeful in her prose that reading her work has the soothing feel of lying in a hammock on a warm spring day. She bares it all for us--fights, loving moments, pain--and in the process she makes herself raw and real, allowing the reader (i.e., ME) to relate to her on such a deeply and intensely personal level that when she hurts, we hurt. When she rejoices, we rejoice. When she heals, we heal.

This book is beyond affecting, and the joy that comes out of the pain will make you feel alive. This book was a gift to us from Artis Henderson, and I feel honored to have been let into the fold of readership of a tale that holds such love, heartbreak, and healing.

Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.

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