MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY by Kate Braestrup

MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY

A Memoir
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another volume of quietly humorous reflections from the first woman chaplain of the Maine Warden Service.

Braestrup (Here If You Need Me, 2007, etc.) again recounts both tense and tender moments with the men of the Maine Warden Service, whom she not only accompanies on search-and-rescue operations but also gently counsels on matters of the heart. The author, who described the death of her young husband in her first memoir, now reveals the stresses of the early years of that marriage and, in a self-deprecating manner, the rocky times when her anger ruled and divorce seemed the likely answer. A widow with four children, she eventually met the right man, fell in love and married again. Armed with the experience of her marital history and a religious perspective that may surprise the orthodox—she defines herself as “a post-Christian, left-leaning, nondoctrinal, noncreedal Unitarian Universalist”—she brings to her counseling of others a warm heart and an appealing frankness. Her lecture on values to a classroom of 13-year-olds moves from a hilarious bit on sexual reproduction to a moving discussion of the distinctions between various kinds of love, in which she introduces the Greek words eros, philos and agape to explain erotic, brotherly and unconditional, selfless love. One lesson Braestrup imparts is that all marriages end, that all relationships end and that the way to live in the face of this harsh reality is to love more.

Nonpreachy, a bit earthy and full of life and love.

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-316-03191-2
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2009




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