Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Loveby Published 14 Apr 2011
|Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love.pdf|
|Publisher||Grand Central Publishing|
Matt Logelin writes a courageous and searingly honest memoir about the first year of his life following the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife.
Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. After years of long-distance dating, the pair finally settled together in Los Angeles, and they had it all: a perfect marriage, a gorgeous new home, and a baby girl on the way. Liz's pregnancy was rocky, but they welcomed Madeline, beautiful and healthy, into the world. Just twenty-seven hours later, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited.
Though confronted with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt did not surrender to devastation; he chose to keep moving forward-to make a life for Maddy.
In this memoir, Matt shares bittersweet and often humorous anecdotes of his courtship and marriage to Liz; of relying on his newborn daughter for the support that she unknowingly provided; and of the extraordinary online community of strangers who have become his friends. In honoring Liz's legacy, heartache has become solace.
Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love Reviews
I have conflicting thoughts about this book. On many levels I found this book to be extremely captivating and interesting. It is a story that automatically draws in any reader or compassionate person. I'm a newlywed so I can only imaging losing my spouse suddenly and unexpectedly. I totally get how this would be a life changing and horrific experience.
I applaud the author for being willing to share his experiences and intimate details of his life with readers. I respect that he doesn't shy away from writing details that cast him in a negative light. For example, he openly discusses how his wife was the primary bread winner while he was happy to sit at home and pretend to look for jobs. I think these details added to the story and gave us a picture of his life and how important and special his wife was. She sounded like a very patient and forgiving woman.
However, this book is so poorly written that it distracts from the story. Some other reviews critique the book for having so much profanity. I myself am not at all offended by profanity I use it all the time and think there is a definite place for it in books. However the profanity in this book seems so forced and awkward that it also takes away from the story. I think maybe someone read a rough draft of his book and applauded the author for his use of anger and profanity and so the author then scattered it in everywhere possible. In places the book felt raw and real but then in others it felt forced. I also do have to comment about the definite hipster vibe. Yuck. Another problem I have is the woes the author has about his financial situation but then flies all over the world and vacations non stop. I can't sympathize for his financial problems when he is flying to exotic destinations.
In general, I would recommend this book and I am excited to meet the author and hear more about his story and hear more about how he is doing parenting his daughter. Do I think he should strive to become a writer. No way! I would tell him don't quit your day job, but when I read the author's bio it looked like he already had. Ooops.
I will make this a short one.
I know some of the reviews that came and will come will say that this is not a book worth your time. I go against it. Yeah, I just gave it 3 stars but just because I can't deny the lack of true literature. I give it to Mr. Logelin that he admitted not being a writer and believe him I do. But for those reviews that completely miss the bigger picture, I just feel sorry for them.
Maybe I just let myself guide for the tears I shed while reading but I'll admit it, I am a sucker for tear inducing reading, movies, music or anything and let me tell you that I consider myself tough so I put up a fight before letting go of my tears.
I am 18 years old for the moment, age when this two awesome couple met and started a new life, if short, together. Concluding with the day Maddy was born. And I consider this book a great way for grieving people, to see that you are not alone is one of the first thing people looks for. And it's great for teaching to the rest of us that are starting living, really, and for those already living, that life is not forever. One instant and that was it, there it went your chance in life.
So let's not forget about that. Maddy isn't the only one living without a loving parent. And she certainly won't be the last. So for her sake and for many others and for ours too (why not?) let's not forget.
It isn't fair Mr. Logelin. That because of your loss and gain you had to create this. Yeah, the worst experiences help create. Why not giving a chance for that that is great to while it is still there?
Sigh. I feel bad for this family, Matt especially, but this book was just not that great. 1) It's another People magazine/Reader's Digest article that feels blown up into a book, and 2) I know these are real people and not characters, but as people? I don't find them interesting. Even worse, Liz (the dead wife and mother) is the kind of woman that I probably would have disliked in real life. Ugh, and now I've spoken ill of the dead.
If you read Matt's blog at all, the story will pique your interest. If you stopped reading Matt's blog, this book will remind you why.
** edit: If you are here to comment, please read my reply to Robyn, copied below. **
You're right, Robyn. I might have found Liz wonderful and delightful in person. Or, I might not have. The point is, I shouldn't suppose.
What my review SHOULD say is that in the book, Liz is described to possess certain qualities that tend to make me dislike a person in real life. All humans have much more breadth and depth than can be described in a book.
As I said in my review, I know these are people and not characters, but if I had to look at this as a novel? The book failed to make me like or appreciate the characters it should have made me care about. That's what I'm trying to convey with my review, not a disrespect of any person who is out there trying to live their life, or who tragically lost theirs.
Here's a truth: we all have a story in us. Here's another truth: everyone, at some point in their lives, experiences the death of a loved one.Now, here's a myth: everyone's story about the death of a loved one deserves to be published and read by the masses.
I perhaps gave this book more leniency than I should have. Matthew Longelin did, after all, lose his wife one day after his daughter was born. But if death doesn't make martyrs of the dead, surviving doesn't make a douchebag lose his douchebagginess. It's very hard to like this man, who almost brags about Peter Pan Syndrome. (Bitchy opinion: more than once I thought, if his wife had survived, she would have kicked out his lazy/manboy/slacker/useless around the house/pretentious taste in music/non-helpful in any way preparing for the arrival of the baby douchey ass within a year.)
And...okay, the cursing. The cursing, the cursing. There's not a soul on this planet who knows me that doesn't know my mouth is so dirty I spit mud, but for the love of George Carlin, cuss words should be used like seasoning in literature. As a novelist, I can admit with great confidence that I comb my MS thoroughly before publishing to confirm every curse word serves a purpose. I almost don't blame Longelin--this is definitely something his editor should have picked up.
Last but not least, i know nothing about the supporting players in this book other than their relationship with Longelin and sometimes their hair color. This meant the whole book was basically like this "Wife is dead sad sad sad listen to music I'm a great dad wife is dead sad sad oh beer!"
There are so many things one could say about this book. As a 32 year old married mother of a precious toddler, of course this book rang many bells in my head and of course it broke nearly every time Matt wrote about his lost wife. As a human, as a person who loves to feel and wants to be reminded how awesome it is to be in love with the Love of your life, this book spoke to me on different levels. I don't know how it could not.
Matt Logelin openly writes from a place of suffering and as a person sitting in your living room: emotional epiphanies about loss that make you want to lie down and cry into the darkest place of your memory. His writing voice is exactly a voice - you can hear him explain, remember, connect, and suffer.
So, that's Matt and his unforgettable Liz. A beautiful story to learn of, to give witness to, to keep in my thoughts.
And then there's the book. It's a pop culture book - a source of support for specific segment of the population. It's an easy read for all those who want to take the time to understand his perspective on life.
I hesitate to jump with criticism considering the origin of this literary statue he's built for Liz, but there is a lot of privilege this book is written with (which he addresses, somewhat) that sits a bit awkwardly with me. (Annual trips to Mexico, a $200 baby dress, Waldorf Astoria, travel, supportive and generous families, a Yahoo! job that waits for him, time to blog and connect...) These are sidebars to the story, but told in such detail that I couldn't overlook my discomfort with it.
Not every book is conceived in the same way or serve the same purpose for its readers. The writing was alright and at times I wished for more in depth revelation about the world, life, etc. But the meaning of Two Kisses for Maddy comes from love. And it's hard to be critical with that as its backbone.