ISBN #: 978-1938101595
Page Count: 248
Copyright: October 11, 2013
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing, LLC
(Taken from back cover)
Sexy, smart-mouthed Melody Sawyer is an underachiever, a home health care nurse with good intentions and a chip on her shoulder. Her troubled daughter Renee recently dropped dead at age 24, but Renee's ghost keeps popping in on the family. And Melody has no clue about her married daughter, Kayla--who since age 16 has been deep in a clandestine affair with pro baseball player Baron Lee Presley. Join the Sawyer women on their offbeat, darkly funny, and sometimes tragic journey as they try to conquer the hardest thing in this world.
On the very first page, it is obvious that Ms. Fraser has a gift for drawing you into her characters and their story. In the opening paragraph, Renee, matriarch of the Sawyer family, has just left the memorial service for her daughter, where she stole the urn of ashes, has eaten part of the cremains and washed the remainder down the sink of her kitchen. From there, we learn the history, and secrets of a very complex and troubled family.
The Hardest Thing In This World takes the reader through the struggles and devastation of senseless death, the roller coaster of mental illness, and the effects on the family that is caught in the aftermath. This is not a beautiful piece of literature, but it is an achingly raw account of the casualties of life. Dealing with death, ghosts, illness, depression, and adultery, Ms. Fraser opens the soul of her characters in a breathtaking way. Definitely not a light read, but well worth the time, as the characters were all beautiful, if broken, in their own way.
The premise can be summed up in the title, "The Hardest Thing In This World is to live in it."
Ms Fraser paints a literary picture of a family that struggles to do just that with warmth, gritty reality, and just enough lightness to make it bearable: just like life. It will haunt me for a while, but I loved its raw beauty.
*A paperback copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.