A raw outpouring of grief and guilt from a mother who lost her son. Twenty-seven-year-old Neddy Davis died of an undiagnosed heart infection in June 1990. This book is taken from the journal his mother kept during the first year after her loss. Divorced, with her daughter living a continent away in California and her longtime lover moving out, Davis wrote daily entries to sort out her feelings. Angry at God, angry at her son, angry at the doctors, she was also filled with guilt and shame at Neddy's charge that her smoking and drinking during pregnancy (she is a recovering alcoholic) had been to blame for his heart condition. ``Slowing down and feeling the pain was the most important lesson I learned about grieving,'' she writes. Meditation meetings, an association for bereaved parents called Compassionate Friends, and a support group for alcoholics, in addition to siblings and friends, helped her cope as she spent much of the year retracing Neddy's life. Davis looked at family photographs and drawings, revisited her son's school, interviewed his doctors, even returned to her childhood home. Before Neddy's cremated remains were buried (as he had requested), she moved with them from room to room in her apartment, the home where he grew up, talking to the ashes in the canister, recalling their time together. A successful children's book author and illustrator (Honest Abe, not reviewed), Davis eventually resumed her public activities. Her daughter came East for Christmas, Davis marked Neddy's birthday at dinner with his girlfriend, and she completed a huge, vibrantly colored painting of two rowboats, ``side by side but not touching [like] Neddy and me.'' If, as Davis says, ``letting in the grief helps to dispel it faster,'' then other grieving parents will find in this wrenching account a mirror of their mourning, if not exactly a comfort. (photos and illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: May 30, 1995

ISBN: 1-55611-450-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Donald Fine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?


From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet