GRIEVING WITH GRACE by Jeanne Fournier


Email this review


In this heartfelt memoir, Fournier (Two from Egypt, 1987) details the tragic deterioration of her son, John, who contracted HIV in the 1980s.

John’s fear of his disease drove him to resist any method of care, and he denied himself treatment of any kind. Even more heartbreaking, his mother, Fournier, watched as John retreated from her and his two brothers, Anthony and Jeffrey, and moved from his family home in Northern California to New Mexico. Jeanne’s second husband insisted that John not be brought back to their home, so Fournier followed him to New Mexico, determined to help her recalcitrant son. John, horrified by his mother’s assistance, ran away from his mother, but he found salvation almost despite himself in the arms of an old friend. As John continued to challenge his mother, she encountered many people who guided and supported her, including a nurse, Debbie, who took a particular interest in helping John. Debbie and several others served as guardian angels throughout this ordeal. John’s anger at being brought to hospice caused him to distance himself from Jeanne and led to his responding to her overtures with coldness and apathy. All the while, however, Jeanne continued to see the hand of God in her life, even as her son’s disease threatened to end his life and their relationship continued to fray. Jeanne’s connection to God and spirituality carried her through the thankless and painful task of supporting her son, and when John dies with so much left unresolved, Jeanne found that she could communicate with her son from the “other side,” perhaps even more than when he was alive. This compelling and at times magical account draws together miracles and spiritual insight. Jeanne, despite numerous heart-wrenching challenges, manages to maintain her faith in God. Her story is singular and moving, containing miraculous, uplifting moments.

An inspiring tale of a mother’s perseverance and acceptance of her son’s terminal illness.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1478259831
Page count: 52pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:


NonfictionOPTION B by Sheryl Sandberg
by Sheryl Sandberg