walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Here if You Need Me_, Kate Braestrup

Library book for BPL book group.

Wow. This is really the perfect book, at least for me. Who knows how it'll turn out at book group (assuming people show up).

This memoir of a middle-aged mother of four whose Maine State Trooper husband was killed in a car accident, filtered through the focus of their grief and her decision to go to seminary (which her husband had been considering as a post-cop career) and become a UU chaplain for the game wardens, is entertaining, enlightening, easy to read yet thought provoking, available to readers whether religious or not, spiritual or not, having experienced tragedy or not and probably of basically any age. The language is mostly simple but the ideas expand the encompass what you bring to them.

I loved this book. I really liked her, too, which is not necessary, but damn helpful in a viewpoint character, particularly in a memoir.

And she reminded me a lot of the other woman I know who went to seminary and became a pastor, altho in her case, I don't think she was UU and she had a regular congregation. But similarly a great listener who had really interesting ideas about the Bible.

Also, I think if faith-based funds went to people like her for purposes like the one she is serving, I wouldn't have any particular problem with issues of separation of church and state etc., a conclusion I find surprising, and wonder if it will last overnight (sometimes I really get taken in by a friendly, charismatic person).

Great stuff. If you knew about this book and avoided it because you worried about it being horribly depressing, I personally recommend you take the plunge. I worry a lot about books being horribly depressing. This wasn't, and the sadness was absolutely worthwhile.

ETA: This book is insufficient evidence one way or the other, but so far, Ms. Braestrup is a massive violation of my people-who-have-four-or-more-kids-are-crazy. Sometimes they were crazy to have the four kids. Sometimes they were crazy as a result of the kids. Sometimes the crazy is a really good crazy. But Braestrup does not strike me as crazy. She strikes me as completely sane.
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