Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Never Better
All Things Considered

by Sally A. Connolly

      Ms. Connolly's technique in selecting to write out her grief and sorrow is not unique, but her approach and voice is. In a series of heartfelt and inspiring vignettes, she explores the varying aspects of widowhood and moving on with life thereafter.

This book is a perfect companion piece to her first book, A Boy from Lawrence - The Collected Writings of Eugene F. Connolly, which was reviewed here on Myshelf. Each entry is a look inside the experiences of Sally's emotional roller coaster, and bestows a touch of divine grace to the reader, for Sally Connolly's faith is present in each word she writes. Even those without the roots and faith of Catholicism that Ms. Connolly embraces can learn from her experiences, and her viewpoint.

Certainly, the perspective that is presented in these scenes from her life is moving and inspiring. In addition, there is a strong sense of realism and verisimilitude in her work that transcends the spiritual or religious. The appeal here is not only to those widowed, but also to those in long-standing relationships, adult children who have lost a parent, and to those struggling to understand the loss of others.

The contents are presented in sections: "An Affair to Remember" (about the roots of her romance, marriage and widowing), "Family Ties," "The Song is You," "Friendly Persuasion," "Time on My Hands" and "A Passion for Decency." Each segment has a series of essays that can be read one at a time and savored, or read one after the other to get the full flavor of Sally and Gene's life together. She weaves the stories of her children, family and friends within, as well, giving the book the feeling of reading someone's private journal.

The Catholic in Sally is strong, and may be off-putting for those not reared within the confines of Catholic schools and religion. Yet her history as a retired school counselor and teacher is evident as well, for each word seems carefully chosen to express the emotions and sentiments that many of us feel, but can't articulate. In the writing of this work, Ms. Connolly gives our feelings and emotions validity, and allows us, through her experiences, to know that we are not alone in life, grief and sorrow. That alone is worth the price of admission! ENJOY!

The Book

Connolly Associates
December 2007
Trade Paperback
Non-fiction / Inspirational (Biographical Essays)
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The Reviewer

Laura Strathman Hulka
Reviewed 2008
© 2008