Pin It
Favorite

Book Review 

by ANN M. COLFORD & r & & r & Here If You Need Me & r & by Kate Braestrup & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & D & lt;/span & eath is a sacred but messy business. Those whose work brings them in frequent and intimate contact with the physical details of death -- cops, medical workers, clergy -- know this.





Author Kate Braestrup's work as a minister and chaplain to the Maine Warden Service (the law enforcement arm of the state's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife) often puts her at the scene of search-and-rescue missions where the outcome could be either tragedy or joy. Her memoir begins with a search scene and the focus remains on her work, rather than on her personal story -- the one she self-deprecatingly calls, "The Tale of the Plucky Widow."





In 1996, Braestrup's husband, a Maine state trooper, was killed in an automobile accident, leaving her widowed with four young children. He had dreamed of a second career as a minister and chaplain; within a year of his death, Braestrup enrolled in seminary, the first step on the path that led her to become a chaplain.





As Braestrup herself admits, the widow's story has a "great hook," and it's garnered lots of attention. Fortunately, she deals with the tragedy of her own story the same way she deals with everything else -- with clear-eyed honesty, curiosity, and an appreciation for the absurdities of human life.





Braestrup was a writer first, long before her shift into ministry, and she brings a writer's curiosity to her journey -- first to her husband's funerary procedures, but later to the technicalities of law enforcement, search and rescue, and the habits of spruce grouse and old Yankee poachers.





Perhaps the biggest question she faces in her work is "Where is God in this?" It's the same question she faced after her husband's death. Her answer: "Look for love." And she finds that love in the tender actions of the wardens and in the communities that gather to support those touched by tragedy.





Braestrup brings humor and compassion to the experience of grief, along with a dead-on intuition about how to tell a story, and those gifts make Here If You Need Me a wonder and a joy to read.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Court of Understanding
  • Court of Understanding

    Spokane's felony Mental Health Court provides a framework for renewed lives
    • Dec 23, 2014
  • A Growing Wave
  • A Growing Wave

    More patients join the lawsuit against Washington's psychiatric hospitals; plus, a new report examining Spokane police
    • Dec 23, 2014
  • Cease-Fire
  • Cease-Fire

    What will Congress' new tolerance for medical marijuana mean for people facing federal drug charges?
    • Dec 23, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular

Spokane Winter Glow Spectacular @ Riverfront Park

Through Jan. 1, 2015

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Game Changer

    Since Condon became mayor, Jan Quintrall has been responsible for some of the biggest changes in the city of Spokane — and some of its biggest controversies
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Let Us Breathe

    Spokane joins national protests over the failure to indict white officers for killing black civilians
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • More »

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation