Heartwood: Book summary and reviews of Heartwood by Barbara Becker

Heartwood

The Art of Living with the End in Mind

by Barbara Becker

Heartwood by Barbara Becker X
Heartwood by Barbara Becker
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Book Summary

"We can do extraordinary things when we lead with love," Barbara Becker reminds us in her debut memoir Heartwood.

When her earliest childhood friend is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Becker sets off on a quest to immerse herself in what it means to be mortal. Can we live our lives more fully knowing someday we will die?

With a keen eye towards that which makes life worth living, interfaith minister, mom and perpetual seeker Barbara Becker recounts stories where life and death intersect in unexpected ways. She volunteers on a hospice floor, becomes an eager student of the many ways people find meaning at the end of life, and accompanies her parents in their final days.

Becker inspires readers to live with the end in mind and proves that turning toward loss rather than away from it is the only true way to live life to its fullest. Just as with the heartwood of a tree―the central core that is no longer alive yet supports the newer growth rings―the dead become an enduring source of strength to the living.

With life-affirming prose, Becker helps us see that that grief is not a problem to be solved, but rather a sacred invitation―an opportunity to let go into something even greater…a love that will inform all the days of our lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Minister Becker debuts with a stirring chronicle of the events, moments, and stories that led to her reconciliation with mortality...This will be a comfort for anyone contemplating their own mortality, or those in search of advice for others." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[T]he author is...a reassuring advocate for peace and interreligious understanding, and she views dying as an opportunity to seek enlightenment and give thanks, regardless of one's preferred spiritual path. A graceful meditation on divine deliverance." - Kirkus Reviews

"An affecting and informative memoir about the lessons we can glean from life as well as death." - Library Journal

"In Heartwood, Barbara Becker inspires us to follow our curiosity into a world that is both universal and a source of our uniqueness. And what could be better than that?" - Gloria Steinem, bestselling author and activist

"Heartwood is a luminous book...Within the first few pages I knew I could trust Barbara Becker to navigate the holy land of death and grief and take me with her...I have rarely read a book that left me feeling so fundamentally blessed. Highly recommended." - Mirabai Starr, author of Caravan of No Despair and Wild Mercy

"Both tear-jerking and joyful, Heartwood reveals how an intimate conversation with loss can bring forth the 'forever' possible through love. Across time zones, generations, and cultural divides." - Sarah Bowen, author of Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective and Higher Purpose

This information about Heartwood shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Barbara Becker

Barbara Becker is a writer and interfaith minister who has dedicated over 25 years to partnering with human rights advocates around the world in pursuit of peace, spirituality, and everyday mindfulness. She has worked with the United Nations, Human Rights First, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, and has participated in a delegation of Zen Peacemakers and Lakota elders in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota. She lives in New York City with her interfaith family.

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