Read advance reader review of Crossing the River by Carol Smith, page 2 of 3

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Crossing the River

Seven Stories That Saved My Life, A Memoir

by Carol Smith

Crossing the River by Carol Smith X
Crossing the River by Carol Smith
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  • First Published:
    May 2021, 272 pages

    May 2022, 272 pages


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There are currently 20 member reviews
for Crossing the River
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  • Debra C. (Vienna, GA)
    Crossing the River
    What a powerful book! I find myself in total agreement with other BB First Impression reviews: well written, heart felt, enduring, and a testimony of a mother's love, but I also came away with much more than another way to examine and to cope with the loss of someone you love. Crossing the River is FULL of lessons on living life to the fullest, coping with everyday pain and disappointment, and being the best mother, father, sister, brother, friend, and neighbor you can be. I found myself marking passages that I felt would make ME more alive, more aware, and more secure in this world today. I have read many books which lend themselves to be gifted to others; this one does as well.
    BUT, I will be buying copies for friends, because I will holding on to this copy of Crossing the River for myself.
  • Nancy L. (Staunton, VA)
    Grief Like a River
    In her memoir, "Crossing the River, Seven Stories That Saved My Life", Carol Smith details the story of her young son, Christopher, born with multiple health problems who became deaf and eventually required a kidney transplant. When Christopher dies unexpectedly, Smith becomes consumed by guilt and grief. As a reporter for the Seattle Post Intelligencer Smith's beat included science, medicine, and health. Often the stories she covered included men, women, and children with life-altering diagnoses: from progeria to double amputation to horrible burns. The people she met while writing these stories taught her valuable lessons that would help her cope with her grief and move her past her guilt. I was captivated by this story and found some important lessons for myself about the power of a positive outlook. Although this is Carol Smith's personal story, it contains messages for all readers about what it means to be alive.
  • Juli B.
    Heartbreaking, but oh so valuable.
    This talented journalist writes with fondness and great appreciation for those who allowed their stories to intertwine with her own in this remarkably heartfelt account of loss, but also of finding "...balance, how to move forward, how to make peace with what we don't control" and "...that sadness does not mean the end of joy." Valuable lessons for those who have experienced grief certainly, but I wonder if the richness of these personal accounts are even more of a gift for readers who have yet to face such supreme life challenges? The author describes her seven years of parenting as "...a borrowed gift, but truly it is the reader who receives the greater gift of shared knowledge, a beautifully written book and encouragement to face whatever life may bring forth. Thank you Carol Smith for your brutal honesty and for honoring those who helped you find the strength to share with readers the often deceptive path toward acceptance and joy.
  • Rory A. (Ventura, CA)
    We Are All In This Together
    "Crossing the River" is a sober, hopeful reminder that we're not all as separate as we sometimes think. What we've been through, somebody else has been through.

    Eminent reporter and scholar of the heart Carol Smith unearths that realization not only to further address her own grief over the death of her seven-year-old son, Christopher, but to reach out to the rest of us for that reason. Her story happened many years ago, but she's presented it at just the right time. It may be that she feels strong enough now to expose her life like this, but more so for her stories, and her experience in reporting on stories that changed her outlook on her own life, to connect to so many more who might well need it.

    The thread that's prevalent throughout "Crossing the River" is this: There is no shame in being human. These emotions, these experiences, all make up what we are. There's no avoiding that. And Smith lights the way that makes it at least easier to bear.
  • Connie L. (Bartlesville, OK)
    Journeys Through Loss
    Crossing the River is about the author's loss of her young son, intertwined with accounts of the grief of other survivors of traumatic experiences. Smith is a journalist, and she has done her homework, extensively interviewing and documenting the experiences. We hear their voices as they struggle through excruciating times and work their way back from them. You will be hit with a series of blows to the heart. But, in the end readers will come away with the gifts of empathy, understanding, and ultimately, hope.
  • Donna
    Crossing the river
    This book will not be for everyone but it definitely met a need for me. The author loses her son to a condition that he was born with...She is an author by trade and she begins writing about children parents and adults facing in most tremendous odds with diseases and conditions that don't offer much hope .She does this as she copes this with the lost of her son. She is an excellent writer and I wondered so many times how she could take these issues she was writing about for such long periods of time. You will shed some tears and feel the pain of those stories. I highly recommend for those who are grieving.
  • Janine S. (Wyoming, MI)
    Poignant, painful journey into hope
    Wow! What a poignant, painful journey into hope. I was mesmerized throughout this book both by the author's beautiful prose and her openly honest and painful exploration of her lingering grief over the death of her son. The author's pain is visceral and you experience it with her. But her journey that carries her across the river to hope and acceptance is inspiring as are the stories she shares of others who are experiencing some kind of loss. These stories are so powerful and the insight the author gains from them so meaningful. I particularly loved the story of her grandmother. This is a book that should be read more than once as it's bigger than just one woman's struggle with grief. Somehow Carol Smith has written a self-help book - I hesitate somewhat to call it that - but this is a book that arises beyond a memoir, offering anyone seeking better insight into self a way to grasp how hope and acceptance can be found. I found myself writing down quotes in my journal so I could reread them and regain that perception I got when reading the book. I highly recommend this book.
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