Marrow: A Love Story

Marrow: A Love Story

by Elizabeth Lesser


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2017 Books for a Better Life Award Winner: Inspirational Memoir

The author of the New York Times bestseller Broken Open returns with a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love.

A mesmerizing and courageous memoir: the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns that she is the perfect match, she faces a far more immediate and complex question about what it really means to love—honestly, generously, and authentically.

Hoping to give Maggie the best chance possible for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a "soul marrow transplant," examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining old assumptions, and offering forgiveness until all that is left is love for each other’s true selves. Their process—before, during, and after the transplant—encourages them to take risks of authenticity in other aspects their lives.

But life does not follow the storylines we plan for it. Maggie’s body is ultimately too weak to fight the relentless illness. As she and Lesser prepare for the inevitable, they grow ever closer as their shared blood cells become a symbol of the enduring bond they share. Told with suspense and humor, Marrow is joyous and heartbreaking, incandescent and profound. The story reveals how even our most difficult experiences can offer unexpected spiritual growth. Reflecting on the multifaceted nature of love—love of other, love of self, love of the world—Marrow is an unflinching and beautiful memoir about getting to the very center of ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062367631
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/20/2016
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 506,023
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Lesser is the cofounder of Omega Institute and the author of MarrowThe Seeker’s Guide; and the New York Times bestseller Broken Open. She has given two popular TED talks and is one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100, a collection of one hundred leaders who are using their voices and talents to elevate humanity. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her family.

Table of Contents

Prelude 1

Introduction 3

Part I The Girls 13

Phone Bombs 15

The Girls 19

Against the Tide 23

Conditions of Worth 30

What the Soul Said 38

Part II The Marrow of the Bones 45

The Match 47

Elpis 54

Blue Holes 59

Mother Cells 63

The Mystery 67

Rejection and Attack 71

Part III The Marrow of the Self 77

Beshert 79

Sisters of the Revolution 82

Hiding Somewhere Near Us 87

What Is the Soul? 92

Genius and Juno 94

Authenticity Deficit Disorder 98

The Certified Human Parenting Manual 103

My Mother's Face 107

Reading Anna Karenina for the Third Time 114

Part IV The Transplant 119

The Field 121

Truth-Aches 139

The Harvest 144

Be Careful When a Naked Person Offers You a Shirt 151

The Word 153

Special 162

Swimming Upstream 169

Chimera 174

Strength to Strength 180

Dear Deepak 184

A mor Fati 189

Same-Same, but Different 197

Part V The Days Between 203

Plum Jam 205

Other Sunsets 212

Roots and Seeds 215

Mother Love 222

Sisters 227

Don't Make Assumptions 232

The Perfect Match 237

Prayer 246

Part VI Gone to Seed 251

Death with Dignity 253

Teaching Meditation at the Brain Trauma Center 265

My Mother's Death 274

Manipura 282

New Year's Eve 287

The Kind of Bird Who Tells You How 291

Completing the Curriculum 295

Epilogue 300

Acknowledgments 307

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