Tag: Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion after War

Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. Crocker

Posted Monday, 2 November, 2015 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was approached to read a different book than the one I asked to read, as the original choice the publicist made for me didn’t feel like a good fit, to be honest. I asked to receive “Those Who Remain” because I have a strong connection to the war eras as I regularly read war dramas and historical fiction set during this period; yet I do not often think to pick up a work of non-fiction that is connected to the eras. I was thankful I could step out of my comfort zone and read a creative non-fiction account set during the Vietnam War. I received a complimentary copy of the “Those Who Remain” direct from the publicist at Claire McKinney Public Relations, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why letters and correspondences interest me within a story of a war drama:

Oft-times letters and correspondences are all that will remain after a war between wives and husbands; daughters and fathers; sons and mothers, etc. as war is an uncertain time of unforeseeable tragedy. The words etched into postcards, pieces of paper or scribbled onto napkins or other bits of mail become a lasting tribute to not only the person who gave those words to their loved ones but to the receiver who knew a bit of their thoughts before they passed. Not everyone perishes at war, but for the families who lose their relatives, the sudden separation and the lack of a proper good-bye is mind-numbingly anguishing for many years.

When it comes to reading war dramas in fiction, I appreciate the writers who fuse history and fact into their stories, but also allow a breath of connection between those at the front and those back home. Finding letters caught inside the tethers of a war drama is one way to anchour me into that story because of how important those letters were in reality. I read quite a lot of war dramas per year, but I also appreciate certain tv serials who augment the same connections I find in their fictional counterparts such as Foyle’s War and As Time Goes By. The latter had the plot focused on a missing letter which was never delivered and thus, became the impetus of how a soldier and a nurse reunited years later in their golden years.

The novel which illuminated the necessity for correspondence at war the best, I felt, was Letters from Skye a novel writ around the letters themselves; taking me to a new vein of reality of how a novel can be told. Reviewing this novel twice was a way I could give the author a second note of gratitude for how convicting her story moved my emotional heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Book Review | “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. CrockerThose Who Remain
Subtitle: Remembrance and Reunion After War
by Ruth W. Crocker
Source: Direct from Publisher

She was 23 years old when she was widowed by war and rather than bury her husband in his coffin, she buried every memory of their brief life together. Forty years later she exhumed the grave and came to terms with her loss and her grief.

Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2013 writer-teacher-actress Ruth W. Crocker brings her journey of love, loss, and inspiration to the page in her beautiful memoir THOSE WHO REMAIN: Remembrance and Reunion after War (Elm Grove Press).

Sometimes the reaction to loss is anger along with the need to be reckless and to search for meaning in what has happened. In THOSE WHO REMAIN, Ruth W. Crocker was propelled by her complex emotions at the time. On the one hand she needed to close the door on her previous life, and on the other she wanted to pay tribute to her husband's memory and escape from her grief. To this end she hiked up to the treacherous North Face of the Eiger, the most notorious mountain in the Swiss Alps, to spread her husband's ashes at the top of the climb they were supposed to do together.

Weaving her beautifully-written recollections with diary entries, letters between her and her husband, and conversations with his comrades, Ruth gives readers an intimate glimpse into the life of a woman who faced her fears and braved the forces of nature to learn that she could survive anything that came her way. A unique true story of grief and recovery with a surprising revelation, THOSE WHO REMAIN demonstrates the tenacious will of the human spirit to heal.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781940863009

Genres: Memoir, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, War Drama


Published by Elm Grove Press

on 13th May 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 294

Published by: Elm Grove Press 

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker

Ruth W. Crocker, PhD, is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominated author, writing consultant, and expert on recovery from trauma and personal tragedy. Her memoir Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War describes her experience following her husband’s death in Vietnam and how she found resources for healing.

Crocker’s essays have been recognized in Best American Essays and her articles have been
featured in the Gettysburg Review, Grace Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, O-Dark-Thirty, and T.A.P.S. Magazine.

She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Bennington College, a PhD in Nutrition and Human Development from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Education from Tufts University. Along the way she also became a Registered Dietitian.

Crocker worked in health care administration and clinical nutrition before becoming a full-time writer. Currently, she is the Writer-In-Residence at Riverlight Wellness Center in Stonington, Connecticut, where she teaches the art of writing memoirs and personal essays to aspiring writers who want to express their own stories. She lives, cooks, and writes in Mystic, Connecticut.

Why the past (and the memories carried therein) can rekindle hope and our humanity’s will towards accepting grace:

There is a point in the story where Crocker mentions the true blessing of living histories (what my family refers to as the stories of our relatives and relations throughout our ancestral past) where we become tethered to our family through the living memories of people who lived before our own time. Sometimes these can be peppered with your living relatives recollections of their lives in the decades before your birth, but generally speaking, it’s a way to keep a tangible impression of your family’s journey through time refreshed and known for the generations who are coming down the line.

I appreciated these stories because they clarified a few finer points of the historical past where I found a bit of fault with lessons in school; as I was being given a wider picture than the option only to recount facts and tidbits someone else deemed worthy of my attention. In a conversation on Twitter earlier in 2015 (believe during #HistoricalFix; follow @HistoricalFix), it was mentioned that if historical fiction was taught in school (especially the authors of today or yesterday who conduct such impressive research to ground their stories) we would have a whole new appreciation for history as a whole. I tend to agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly because when the ‘past’ comes alive for me as I read a novel, it is a kind reminder of how much the past was ‘alive’ for me through the stories of my family. We have a need to make connections whilst we’re alive, it’s not only how we process information and keep a stronghold of knowledge vibrant and a part of who we are, it’s a way of how we internalise what we’re experiencing.

If we start to forget to share the stories, we will soon find ourselves without a path towards reacquiring the hope of where we’ve been and the joy of where we are about to venture forward next. Read More

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Posted Monday, 2 November, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, #NonFictionFriday, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Claire McKinney Public Relations, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, History, Indie Author, Memoir, Military Families of the Deployed, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Quakers, Special Needs Children, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data, The Vietnam War, Travel the World in Books, War Widow, War-time Romance, Warfare & Power Realignment

#WWWWednesday No.4: Jorie welcomes Autumn w/ a heap of lovely #fallreads and a touch of #summerreads still in progress!

Posted Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

WWWWednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

I loved the premise of this meme {WWW Wednesdays} due to the dexterity that it gives the reader! :) Clearly subject to change on a weekly rotation, which may or may not lead to your ‘next’ read which would provide a bit of a paradoxical mystery to your readers!! :) Love the concept! Therefore, this weekly meme was originally hosted by Should Be Reading who became A Daily Rhythm. Lovingly restored and continued by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Each week you participate, your keen to answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading!?
  • What did you recently finish reading!?
  • What do you think you’ll read next!?

After which, your meant to click over to THIS WEEK’s WWWWednesday to share your post’s link so that the rest of the bloggers who are participating can check out your lovely answers! :) Perhaps even, find other bloggers who dig the same books as you do! I thought it would serve as a great self-check to know where I am and the progress I am hoping to have over the next week!

Join the Convo via: #WWWWednesday

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

What are you currently reading!? (Wednesday to Wednesday)

  • A Woman of Note by Carol M. Cram (blog tour Thursday!) (Synopsis)
  • Decorum by Kaaren Christopherson* (Synopsis)
  • Those Who Remain by Ruth W. Crocker (Synopsis)
  • The Tulip Resistance by Lynne Leatham Allen* (Synopsis)
  • Summer Campaign by Carla Kelly* (Synopsis)
  • Fool’s Gold by Zana Bell (Synopsis)
  • A Thousand Words for Stranger by Julie E. Czerneda (Synopsis)
  • The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley by Susan Örnbratt (Synopsis)
  • Yellow-billed Magpie by Nancy Schoellkopf (Synopsis)
  • #SRC2015: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave (Synopsis)
  • #ReadingIsBeautiful: Summer by Summer by Heather Burch (Synopsis)
  • Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby (Synopsis)

*Titles were blog tours I missed hosting over the Summer.

A beautiful mixed bag of readerly delights await me, as I tackle the stories I had meant to read and review over the Summer (June – September) whilst dipping into my first reads for Autumn! As you might have noticed I have an appreciation for stories during the war eras and for war dramas in particular, but I took a chance on a non-fiction piece that is set around redemption and solace when I elected to read Ruth W. Crocker’s book. The Tulip Resistance will be taking me behind the lines of war from a Dutch perspective whereas I generally enter through the World Wars through the British or French lines of perception. Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 14 October, 2015 by jorielov in 18th Century, 19th Century, Anthology Collection of Stories, Back to the Classics, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, Books for Review Arrived by Post, Chunkster Reading Challenge, Classical Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Foodie Fiction, France Book Tours, Get Steampunk'd, Go Indie, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Library Find, Love for Books Readathon, RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reading Challenge Addict, Reading Challenges, Rewind Challenge, Science Fiction, Seriously Series Reading Challenge, SFN Bingo, TBR Pile Challenge, tCC The Classics Club, The Dystopia Challenge, Tomorrow Comes Media, Wicked Valentine's Readathon, William Shakespeare Challenge, Wuthering Heights, WWW Wednesdays, Xchyler Publishing

10 Bookish (& Not-Bookish Thoughts) No.6: When life throws you a heap of lemons, you best find a large pitcher to store the lemonade!

Posted Thursday, 1 October, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

10 Bookish Not Bookish Thoughts banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Week of Thursday, 26st of September through 1st of October, 2015 | Hostess List

I’ve honestly wanted to start participating in this weekly meme in 2014, however, I would always seem to get distracted during the hours leading up to Thursdays OR completely forget to compose my thoughts for this meme until into the weekend; at which point, the time had come and gone. I like the fact we can exchange thoughts percolating in our minds that run the gambit of the bookish world, creative outlets, or thoughts we want to share that might show a bit more about who we are behind the bookish blog we maintain. I am going to attempt to thread the journal of my 10 Bookish / Not Bookish Thoughts by order of the entries arrival into my life rather than a preference of 1-10.

BE SURE to visit my FIRST ENTRY: Bookish Not Bookish No.1

No, your eyes did not lie to you, this is No. 6, No. 2-5 will be released this Autumn.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 1 |  Corvidae + Scarecrow | Anthologies by World Weaver Press

As you might have recalled I happily devoured the stories in Rhonda Parrish’s first anthological series debut FAE, wherein I found myself quite delighted to find stories of the fae represented in such a uniquely clever collection of inspiration and craft of story-telling. After concluding my review on behalf of FAE, I wasn’t quite sure what I should request next via World Weaver Press, when happily their publicist Ms Wagner suggested I follow FAE with the next two anthologies in sequence:

CORVIDAE banner by World Weaver Press

What is so wicked awesome about these two anthologies is there is a serial short between them, which outside of pulp fiction and the classical serials found in zines decades inside the early 20th Century, I haven’t come across serial shorts inside anthologies! I’m quite a newbie to anthologies of the 21st Century, and thereby, each time I make a discovery I am wicked excited by the possibilities of what I am about to read!

I am now piqued with keen interest to read Sanctuary and Judge & Jury! I had agreed knowingly with the reviewer – sometimes you come across a short so profoundly moving, if you never found another you loved dearly as much, the collection was worth it’s weight in gold! This happened to me once in another anthology where I found a writer so tapped into the human condition and the emphatic heart we all have within us, I was forever moved! Shorts despite their length are powerful in what they convey! The four I focused on myself from FAE are still with me, even now.

I must confess, this fellow book blogger out here in the book blogosphere is as keenly passionate about these anthologies as I am, as it’s his reviews on behalf of these two anthologies that encouraged me to take the plunge into reading them myself!

I must admit – reading the reviews on Tangent in combination with reading the Press Kits helped make my decision because Tangent has bloggers who knit out the heart of each story and give me ‘just enough’ to whet a thirst of interest.

Do visit his reviews, ahead of my own which will be arriving in October!

Tangent’s review of Corvidae by Eric Kimminau

Tangent’s review of Scarecrow by Eric Kimminau

And, dear hearts guess what!? Parrish isn’t yet done with her Magical Menagerie! She’s putting together a new collection entitled: SIRENS! Eek. Can you just imagine!? Watery stories of EPIC MYTHOLOGICAL loveliness?!  I’m not sure about you, but World Weaver Press has bewitched me!

Scarecrow banner by World Weaver Press

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

No. 2 |  Being a part of DAW’s blog tour for This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda

I initially thought my path had crossed with Ms Czerneda during Sci Fi November 2014, until I ran a search for our tweet convos and realised it was a bit earlier in 2014 during the Sci Fi Writer’s chat! Who knew!? I used to duck inside the #sffwrtcht on a regular basis, as I have a healthy appetite for SFF whilst getting the opportunity to talk to writers who are enveloping us in worlds that are a jolt outside our own realities to the brink of epic intraspace proportions! As we do not just jettison ourselves off of Earth or into the orbit surrounding Earth, we sometimes traverse the divides of time itself whilst visiting territorial systems beyond our line of sight. Then, there is the hidden joy of writers who write an arbitrage of stories contained on Earth herself but within the light years of time ahead of our own living futures, taking us both on land and sea to explore new frontiers and the plausiblilties of life therein. Read More

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Posted Thursday, 1 October, 2015 by jorielov in 10 Bookish (& Not-So-Bookish Thoughts), Blogosphere Events & Happenings