Release Date: April 2011
Publisher: Random House | Broadway Books
Pages: 322 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Kindle ebook
Amazon | Goodreads
Sum It Up (from Amazon)
Twenty-four-year-old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life. At the age of twenty four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way. Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident. Four months before the birth of her son, Natalie is leveled by loss.
Thoughts on Signs of Life
I saw signs of life while wandering around Barnes and Noble, and I was attracted to the cover. Don’t let the balloons fool you – this is one heartbreaking book.
I identified with Natalie – she was twenty-four with a wonderful job and handsome husband, a new house and a baby on the way. While I don’t have the baby yet, I am in almost the exact same place in my life.
Natalie’s husband dies unexpectedly in a freak accident. Four months before their son is due.
Can you even imagine?
I felt like I was on edge while I was reading. I kept imagining myself in her situation, analyzing how I might react and feeling like at any moment I might cry.
As an English teacher, Natalie finds a lot of comfort in books. She turns to words and well-loved stories to help her heart heal.
Her grief is raw, uncomfortable and not pretty. She tells you in the beginning that the book comes from things she wrote in her journals and acknowledges that it doesn’t always put her in the most flattering life.
She complains about her family. She feels smothered by her own grief and their attempts to help. She questions and whines and you’ll feel your compassion wearing thin.
But when you feel like judging her reactions, focus instead on the fact that she is honest and real about her emotions. And remember that you aren’t in her place and don’t know what you’d do.
It haven’t read anything quite like this, but I am really glad I picked this one up. If you enjoy memoirs, I’d recommend picking up Signs of Life.
"I want my students to see that sometimes fiction has answers because our own lives don't, and sometimes we like seeing things resolved in books because the reality is, it's the only time where problems end neatly or where problems end at all. I want my students to see books as a way to learn about other people's and other worlds, but also as a place to learn about themselves."