The Geography of Love: Book summary and reviews of The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess

The Geography of Love

A Memoir

by Glenda Burgess

The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess X
The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2008
    320 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

“If I had given it much thought, I might have hesitated to marry a man for whom at the age of 45 much of the past was too painful to consider--for either of us. Truthfully, thought had little to do with it. Instinct did--the instinct to seize a sure and ebullient happiness or go down trying.”

Falling in love is arguably the greatest risk and leap of faith any of us take. There’s no guarantee for future happiness, no protection from the ugly scars of the past, no shield from tragedy--this powerful memoir reminds us why we bother.

At a lakeside café in the summer of 1988, 31-year-old Glenda Burgess is sitting across from 44-year-old Kenneth Grunzweig and falling in love. Then Ken confesses that he has already been widowed twice, under harrowing circumstances. This tragic past, the age difference, Ken’s emotionally scarred teenage daughter--all might be enough to send anyone running, but Glenda believed in her instincts, believed more than anything that this lovely, generous man would shape her life. And Ken, who with his heartbreaking losses had long said that he’d given up on love, came to share a sense of their romantic destiny. The two embark on the sort of love affair that many of us don’t believe exist anymore--a grand romance that buoys them through the birth of two kids and fifteen magical years of marriage until tragedy strikes again in the form of a shadowy spot on Ken’s lung. The journey that follows will test their resilience and strengthen their devotion.

The Geography of Love is a book about believing in first instincts and second chances.
It is a poignant exploration of the depths of the human heart and our ability to love and to trust no matter the obstacles.

It is a reminder that "real" life is always richer, stranger, and more extraordinary than fiction.
It is the most moving love story you’ll read this year.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Her narrative grows increasingly engrossing, yet difficult to read, as Ken, the fighter, is forced to constantly face death. Burgess's journey possesses bravery and open-eyed clarity." - Publishers Weekly.

Novelist Burgess expressively and excruciatingly chronicles her emotional struggle when cancer afflicts her husband .... Wrenchingly painful, but intensely affecting." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Burgess' tender recollections…remind us all that we tend to be defined by our great loves well after we've lived them." --Elle Magazine.

"A beautiful, eloquent, moving love story that shows that when we believe in love, we can reach heights we never imagined." - Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, author of We Plan, God Laughs.

"I read Glenda Burgess' poignant and harrowing memoir in one sitting – in one breath –and all I had ever felt about love's ability to vanquish everything, to swallow heartbreak, to correct history, Burgess makes us believe. And in a fashion that reads like a classic novel." –Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean.

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Author Information

Glenda Burgess

Glenda Burgess was born in New Mexico, the daughter of a US Air Force Lt. Colonel. She graduated with distinction from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a B.A. in Political Science. Ms. Burgess was the recipient of the 1978 Wendell L. Wilkie Distinguished Student Award in Political Science. After earning a Masters in Public Affairs (1980) from the University of Washington, the author was selected to serve as a Presidential Management Fellow - the presitigious government executive training and mentoring program initiated under President Jimmy Carter.

After completing nearly a decade of government service on Capitol Hill and for the U.S. State Department in Washington DC, Ms. Burgess left government service to study creative writing. She attended writers workshops and seminars at the University of Washington, the University of California (Berkeley),the Creative Writing Program in Continuing Education at Stanford, the Maui Writers School, and the Aspen Writers Workshop to name a selected few.

Glenda Burgess's work encompasses a memoir, The Geography of Love, , two novels Exposures and Loose Threads, and an academic work, A Special Collections Thesaurus: Women Studies. Her work includes published short stories and essays, as well as book reviews and freelance articles. Glenda is a popular featured author at writing workshops and conferences, and has recently presented her work and lead workshops at, among others, The Hawaiian Writers Conference, The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Conference, Portland's Wordfest, The Writers Workshop Series at A Book for All Seasons, and Eastern Washington University's literary festival Get Lit!

Glenda writes at her blog, Quintessence, on topics relevant to poetry, literature, and creative writing.

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