In this raw, emotional memoir, Nate Bennett uses a blog to work through his grief over the sudden loss of his wife Shannon. He is surprised and comforted to discover a vast virtual community of support. His blog posts--alternately poignant and of dry wit--eventually attracted tens of thousands of hits and a following from readers who hadn't even known the couple or their sons. This unique book gives the reader a window into the starkness of a widower's grieving experience in real time. What comes through in virtually every post is his love for Shannon as he weaves in vignettes from their life together, chronicling their love story and his efforts to recover. And in the end, with the support of his virtual community and the strength he was able to draw from remembering Shannon's wishes for him, he finds love again.
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About the Author
Echo Garett, a thirty-year journalist, is the author of a dozen nonfiction books, including the multi-award-winning "My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change" (Crown Archetype, June 2012). She and her husband Kevin reside in Marietta, Georgia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Shannon's Gift is a story presented as a compilation of posts from the blog Nate Bennett set up after his wife Shannon's unexpected death. Shannon's Gift is about one man's grief but it is also an offering of the gifts of love, joy and hope which will take readers on a roller coaster ride of emotions that begin with grief and loss and culminate with the daunting task of finding a reason to move forward . When I started reading Shannon's Gift, my initial impression was "What a great book this would be for someone who has lost a beloved spouse." As I read, however, I began to view it as a book that will appeal to anyone who has ever loved and lost someone, to anyone who has ever had a special friend or made it through a bad time with the love and support of special friends, to anyone who has ever found it possible to move forward after a devastating loss. With its detailed depiction of Nate Bennett's journey following the death of his wife and friend Shannon, Shannon's Gift is first and foremost as the title indicates: a love story. Even during the most wrenching descriptions of his grief for Shannon, the emotion that shines most clearly is Nate's love for Shannon and the joy he took in the brief time they shared. I think the author's gift for characterization will lead readers to fall in love with Shannon and wish they'd had the opportunity to know her. There is an HEA in Shannon's Gift but it would be best defined as Hopeful Ever After. For me some of the best features of the book were unexpected. . . almost like small gifts from Shannon. Readers will have the opportunity to become acquainted with mitochondrial disease, a rare disorder that colored Shannon's life and her marriage to Nate and ultimately took her from him. There are also the shameful details of Nate's frustration with the medical community following Shannon's death. I sincerely hope those of us who work and have worked with patients and families will take this aspect of the story to heart. And the last is one which may seem a bit odd. I appreciated that the author reached out to those who don't believe in a higher power. . .an uncommon perspective in books on the grief process. For anyone who is looking for a better understanding of the grief process or deeper insight into supporting friends and family who are grieving, Shannon's Gift will present you with a unique look into the heart of one man's love, loss and recovery.
Shannon's Gift is the story of a husband devastated by the sudden and unexpected loss of his wife. This true love story within a love story takes the reader on a journey of survival and recovery with Nate. Heart-wrenching, hopeful, and a life guide, Shannon's Gift is a must-read. --Bestselling Author J. B. McGee **I was provided a complimentary copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.**