I am thrilled and honored to launch the first day of the first Deb’s launch, Jenny Gardiner’s SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER. Jenny had a very unconventional road to publication that speaks to her talent and tenacity. She sent me SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER after I’d had one those marital days that made me wonder how I’d ended with the person I’d chosen to spend my life with… I read it in a couple of can’t-put-the book-down sittings and laughed and winced and cried at her spot-on depiction of motherhood and marriage, of how unafraid she was to speak the truth about life, her accurate details and realistic dialogue. There’s an old boyfriend and a handsome masseuse and an absolutely believable transformation that makes you smile and feel hopeful and I don’t want to say too much more except that Jenny does not mince words or hold back and for that I love her and her book. She nails midlife and midlife marriage like very few writers. So if you want to read a book that tells it like it is, go, right now, and buy SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER.
I don’t want to take your attention away from Jenny and SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER (so go buy her book now before you read the rest of this), but I feel I would be remiss not to mention where I was on The Liar’s Diary blog day. I was at Mayo clinic for another check-up and while I sat there waiting for results of my mammo and blood test and bone density and ultrasound of my abdomen and wondering why, in my mid-forties, my body had to be scrutinized every six months, why my son had to worry so much about me that his stomach ached that day (even after I reminded him that my cancer was non-invasive and this was just a check-up and I was likely fine) and I thought of Patry Francis, of how much more she’s been through and is currently going through, and her remarkably courageous attitude and the community of writers and publishing professionals who rallied behind her and I thought of my friend who was diagnosed with a late stage cancer a few months after me and died last summer and left two school-aged children behind and my neighbor who has a brain tumor and all the beautiful, soulful, extraordinary people who have been wounded by fear and suffering.
And my heart went out to all of them and it was almost too much… But then I thought about all the people who gave their time and energy and love to Patry and I thought of my fellow debutantes (5 absolutely amazing women including JENNY GARDINER) and my new neighbor who just gave birth to healthy twins and our two new puppies and I realized we are all a part of a larger circle, hope and fear, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, birth and death, a crazy, chaotic, contradictory world that even at its most trying, I can’t get enough of… And then I got my results and I was fine! And I burst into tears. I was so relieved, so damn grateful to be alive that I stared out at the storm brewing and I thought that storm is a precipitory miracle.
So while my heart continues to ache for Patry and her family and friends and while I pray for her full recovery, at the same time I giddily applaud Jenny Gardiner and the launching of SLEEPING WITH WARD CLEAVER, a book filled with LIFE, a guilty pleasure, Jenny’s miracle baby, yet another reason to celebrate.