A stimulating, personal work about self-actualization in the wake of tragedy.



In this memoir and spiritual self-help book, a woman whose husband died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center tells of finding healing and inspiration.

In 2001, debut author Luckett and her husband, Teddy, were a couple in their early 40s with three young children, living in suburban New Jersey. Teddy commuted into Manhattan every day, working long hours at a high-pressure job on Wall Street to support his family, and Lisa was a stay-at-home mom. In this remembrance, she says that she felt that she was “drowning” in the isolation and constant stress of caring for an infant, a 4-year-old, and a 7-year-old. Although deeply in love with her husband, she says that she dealt with feelings of resentment, due to the frustrations of her current life and the pain and alienation of growing up with an alcoholic father and a narcissistic mother. Then Teddy became a victim of the disastrous events in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. At first overwhelmed by grief and anger, Luckett soon discovered another side to the trauma, which she dubbed the “Godness of 9/11”—a powerful spirit of human compassion and resilience. Buoyed by the “kindness of strangers,” as well as the help of two skilled therapists, she gradually learned how to help her family navigate the tragedy and find a new strength, joy, and positive direction in life. Luckett’s narrative skillfully weaves together events from different eras to present a vivid portrait of one American middle-class family’s life during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. She also delves into how pain and struggle can be hidden beneath a placid, public exterior. Luckett effectively uses her experience as a 9/11 widow to show how she left her victimhood and insecurity behind in order to make the most of the rest of her life. Her own choice to undergo four years of psychoanalysis may not be within some readers’ reach, but they’ll still find her unblinking self-exploration and honest evaluation of her life and choices to be compelling and heartening.

A stimulating, personal work about self-actualization in the wake of tragedy.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73219-710-7

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Cozmeena Enlightened Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2018

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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

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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