Like its title, this book is about the the strength to survive, whatever it takes, whatever is necessary, however long it takes to move forward.
Greta Eichel bears her suffering soul.
Everyone interacts with famiilies. Every family has secrets. Sometimes, a high maintenance, self-destructive, low self-esteem chld is one of them. Parents who have children like this often move into denial to survive, calling the behavior a phase, teen trauma, and/or peer influence.
Eichel's family has an abundance of secrets that get more deliciously intriguing by the page. Yes, Surviving Ellen is a page-turner that catches you.
Most importantly, this book is a book about love, mainly about rthe relationships of people who love someone who did not know how to love them back. The Socratic question for the reader to answer in this book is Do you know how to love the people you love in a way that feels loving to them?
And, it is also a love story about two people, Greta and Stu, who knew how to love each other from the beginning and are still at it and going strong.
I believe this book could save many parents from having to survive their child's suicide.
Even those who have near-perfect children may benefit from it to help grandchildren or step-family members.
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About the reviewer
Barbara Garro (NYWriterBarbaraGarro)
When I am not writing or painting or teaching, I am reading, literally hundreds of non-fiction books every year. Why? Because I love learning from other people's journeys. Authors work hard to bring … more
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Greta Eichel’s Surviving Ellen is part autobiography, part memoir, part eulogy. With unflinching honesty, Eichel searches her own history for the seeds of her daughter Ellen’s suicide and for signs of life after Ellen’s death. With prose so free of artifice that it becomes a poetry of clarity, with images so sharp they often hurt, Eichel struggles with heart and conscience as she renders the ferocious pain of loss. Not an imitation, but life itself, this deeply moving, affective testimony reminds us how the dramatic and the ludicrous are inextricably tangled in the lives of ordinary people. Surviving Ellen unlocks the secrets of the heart.