Best Memoirs of Women Reviewed By BookViral

"Linehan peppers her prose with vividly crafted imagery..."

Memoirs of Women
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  • ASIN: ‎ B09XP9DPCF
  • Publisher: ‎ Flanker Press (15 April 2022)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Print length: ‎ 230 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN: ‎ 1774570742
  • Genre: Memoirs of Women

The BookViral Review:

A thoughtful, beautifully observed and genuinely affecting biography that explores the long-reaching effects of grief, ‘If I Cry I’ll Fill the Ocean’ presents the incredibly personal journey of Catherine Linehan by her daughter Ida Linehan Young who writes with uncommon depth and a rare sense of authenticity.

A life devastated by the death of five of her children Ida tells her mother’s story with an unblinking simplicity in the first person. Her writing is unadorned and unapologetic whilst peppering her prose with vividly crafted imagery, which pulls us into Catherine’s life.

A biography doesn’t have to be psychologically complex or dazzling to dig beyond its surface. In Ida’s words “She is Catherine (Power) Linehan from North Harbour, St. Mary’s Bay, and an inspiration to many she’s encountered over the years” and how her story generates its power is through its recurring themes of humanity and kindness which were an ever-present anchor in Catherine’s life.

A tragedy devastating to the life experience can feel generic when transferred to the written word but that’s not what happens here. Grief may be the topic under examination with the mantle of loss Catherine carried weighing heavy throughout her life, but her story is the furthest thing from a miserablist wallow.

Ida’s writing is incisive, observant and love is the tool with which Catherine’s grief is explored. Her story is moored by penetrating characterizations rich in integrity and heart, and an often relentless sense of urgency that’s remarkably powerful.

Few could endure in the wake of such devastating loss and the challenges Catherine overcame throughout her life. Beyond the tragic deaths of Francis, Richard, Sharon, Harold and Barry her life was dogged by poverty but she was blessed by her husband Edward’s love and steadfastness and together their story is a celebration of not just the usual triumph of the human spirit, but an ode to the human experience and all it can throw at us.

Powerfully capturing the transient and fragile nature of life If I Cry I’ll Fill the Ocean is recommended without reservation and a must-read.

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