Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Recommendation: Life's That Way: A Memoir - Jim Beaver

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In Jim Beaver's LIFE'S THAT WAY: A MEMOIR, he writes about how his wife Cecily got diagnosed with cancer shortly after they had their first child after a long struggle to conceive her. In mails that he writes to his friends and family to update them on Cecily, we get to know him and his family on a very personal level.
What intrigued me: I love the TV show Supernatural and the character that Jim Beaver plays.

Insanely Emotional Writing

This is obviously a biography and a very emotional read. Jim Beaver is an actual writer and published playwright rather than an actor and you can tell. Honestly, this is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read. He knows how to use the right words, he is able to make the reader feel what he felt. I had to pause sometimes, because I was a trainwreck in some parts, and that means a lot, I’m not easily touched. 

Even if you're not a fan of the TV shows he did like NCIS, Criminal Minds, Crossing Jordan and many more- you're probably going to get emotionally attached to the characters. The original manuscript were the transcripts of the emails he wrote to his family to tell them about the things happening with Cecily, following her diagnosis. Therefore it's very personal, up-close and absolutely honest. This translates beautifully in the writing and I just can't find the right words to say what I feel about this. 

If you know Jim as an actor and a public figure, you know how the story ends and knowing that, makes you just dread the part where it happens. I just love that Jim decided to go on and push through despite the horrible, horrible things he had to live through and gave us this little piece of beautiful writing to help others that might go through the same or similar situations.

Why read it?

It's not a biography at all. It's a tribute and a love letter to life. Because it shows, that humans are capable of deep love, it reminds you to be grateful for what you have. It reminds you to seize the moment and tell the people you love that they are important to you. Do it, before it’s too late. I think it is remarkable that Beaver is able to touch people with his writing so deeply, even though you probably don’t know him, especially not personally.

But he makes you care and he makes you cry, and he makes you want to hug everyone that you love. Also I imagine this book to help comforting to people who witnessed loved ones go through terminal illness. Read it and you’ll understand what I mean.



Additional Info

Published: April 16th 2009
Pages: 303
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Genre: Adult / Non-Fiction / Biographies and Memoirs

"Life's That Way is a modern-day Book of Job. In August 2003, Jim Beaver, a character actor whom many know from the popular HBO series Deadwood, and his wife Cecily learned what they thought was the worst news possible- their daughter Maddie was autistic. Then six weeks later the roof fell in-Cecily was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer.

Jim immediately began writing a nightly e-mail as a way to keep more than one hundred family and friends up to date about Cecily's condition. Soon four thousand people a day, from all around the world, were receiving them. Initially a cathartic exercise for Jim, the prose turned into an unforgettable journey for his readers.

Cecily died four months after being diagnosed, but Jim continued the e-mails for a year after her diagnosis, revealing how he and Maddie coped with Cecily's death and how they managed to move forward. Life's That Way is a compilation of those nightly e-mails. Jim's experience is universal for anybody who has lost a loved one. But Life's That Way is not solely about loss. It is an immediate, day-by-day account of living through a nightmare but also of discovering the joy of a child, of being on the receiving end of unthinkable kindness, and of learning to navigate life anew. As Jim says, these are hard-won blessings. But then again, life's that way."(Source: Goodreads)

What's your favorite memoir?

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