As a youth, I used to read tragic books about people dying too young from terrible diseases. Looking back, these books and movies are incredibly sappy. Glenda Burgess transcends the sappiness of this type of book with The Geography of Love. The language is exquisite and it is as if the authors memories became mine as I read this book. I dont usually read love stories. If you look at the books Ive read this year and my reviews, you will see that I dont usually read memoirs and romances. It was one of the best books Ive ever read.
Centered around her whirlwind love affair and marriage to Ken Grunzweig, Glenda Burgess recounts the couple's life together, and her husband's battle with lung cancer in It's difficult to admit that I disliked a book that from the outset promises to tell a heartbreaking life story, but I confess: the book turned me off completely. Burgess is sure hers is a love story for the ages, but she never gives the reader a real sense of its uniqueness. Finally, while mainly relays Burgess's marriage, there is a side story wended throughout discussing her troubled relationship with her parents, and in particular, her strong-willed mother, who simultaneously fought her own battle with cancer.
Before I describe what I didn't like about this book, I must disclose that I don't generally care for memoirs in the first place, so that may have tainted my reading experience. 2) One of the joys of reading is recommending books to others. Especially when the author says "Why, the pond's completely frozen!" (p. The author obviously struck a chord, and the descriptions about chemotherapy were painful, but the reading experience was not enjoyable. Even uncomfortable books can be worth reading, but this one just isn't that to me.
I think this is such an amazing story...I was moved by the characters and came to love each of them. Understanding the love they had for each other and relating to their feelings, my heart was wrenched and yet thankful they had time to express their appreciation for one another.
Glenda, on Twitter, is a force of Light and Love, an encouraging, listening, open soul who doesnt (like I do) rant or rave or complain, but, rather, she finds what is good in the world, holds onto it, points it out, and lives, as she says, steady on, no wobbles which posted each evening as she says goodnight to the Twitterati is a comforting touchstone in this uncertain world. Joy because Glenda found such a powerful love, and she resolved for herself her feelings and issues with her family, her husbands family and past, and managed not only to survive, but to thrive, and heal enough to share this inspiring memoir, so personal and honest as to approximate reading someones journal only with much more artful prose and structure. Hope because I, too, have reached a certain age without ever having had a lifetime, forever love, and Glendas story made me think if I keep my heart and mind open, there might be time for me yet so, how fitting I finished reading this book on Valentines Day. And, finally, honored because this remarkable woman has chosen to interact with me, to accept and share her heart with me on Twitter. You may well weep when reading it, but the weeping and working through the sorrow of Glendas story to reach the victory of her survival, and the triumph of her later thriving, is worth the tears.
When I picked this book up a couple of things held my interest right away...the first being that it was a memoir, the second being the love story, the third being the mystery it seemed to hold of a woman marrying a man who was twice before married...both women dead in tragic ways!
***So I finished this book a couple of weeks ago. She comes off a bit pretentious, especially when talking about the early romances between her and her husband.
I found it to be a tribute and not only a tribute to Ken but a tribute to love, a tribute to family, and a tribute to individual members of the families involved. I would like to meet the woman that wrote this book.
Glenda Burgess, author of the acclaimed and beloved memoir, THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOVE, brings readers her new novel, SO LONG AS WE'RE TOGETHER, September 2019 from Black Opal Books. Glenda Burgess is a winner of The Rupert Hughes Fiction Award and a short story finalist for the New Century Writer Award. The author's short stories and book reviews may be found online in select literary journals.