A FAR CRY…FROM HOME: BOOK REVIEW
Book Review by VIGA BOLAND, editor of Memoirabilia:
“A FAR CRY … FROM HOME” by Sandy Richards, our featured author in Issue #2 of “Memoirabilia”
Is there a greater tragedy for parents than the loss of a child? From what I’ve read on this heartbreaking topic, and from what I’ve learned from those who have lost a child, there isn’t. And as one father told me years after his adult son died in a drowning accident, the longer that child has been in your life, the longer you’ve shared their dreams for their future, their achievements, their everything, the harder it is to bear that loss.
So how does one move on once the shock and grief has subsided? Like in most cases where one has to deal with trauma, journaling your pain is enormously therapeutic. That’s what Sandy Richards did, after her elder son, Tyler, died in a car accident. She poured her heart out directly to Tyler, talking to him night after night, often at his gravesite. She collected all the poems, tributes, newspaper reports regarding her very popular and loved son, and then, decided to share everything with others who might be living through, and trying to escape the same hell she survived. She wrote and self-published a beautiful tribute to her son and all the friends, relatives, neighbours who supported her through the tragedy in her memoir, “A Far Cry … from Home.”
But, being a writer, along with a heart-broken mother, she put an unusual spin on the telling of this story: her narrator is her son Tyler, now an angel in heaven. What a refreshing approach, and Sandy has carried it off beautifully. Tyler comes across as alive, no doubt very much how he was most likely was during his life. We come to know Tyler as he was, and perhaps as he is now, if one believes in angels. This method of memoir works so well that the book earned Sandy an Honourable Mention in the 2014 Readers Favorite book awards.
I had the supreme pleasure of meeting Sandy and her younger son, Austin, at the Readers Favorite 2014 Book Awards ceremony. If Tyler was anything like Austin, and I’m sure he was, Sandy’s love and pride in both her sons is certainly understandable. What an outstanding young man Austin is. He accompanied his mother to the awards and stood on stage with her during her acceptance. The most touching moment for me was Austin and Sandy saying Tyler was accepting the award with them. Tyler Richards is still, and always will be very much alive in their hearts and his 16 years of life will be forever celebrated in “A Far Cry … from Home”.
©Viga Boland, 2015
Read more reviews by Viga Boland in each issue of MEMOIRABILIA.
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