Saturday, May 28, 2011

Book Review: Two Kisses For Maddy

Book 15/25 in the 2011 Reading Challenge.  Date completed: May 28, 2011.

Life and death in 27 hours.  Matt Logelin has "24" tattooed in his wife's handwriting (taken from a scrap of paper on which she'd written out a math problem) on the inside of his left wrist, and "25" on the inside of his right wrist.  24 represents the date his beautiful daughter, Madeline, was born seven weeks early via c-section.  25 represents the date his beautiful wife, Liz, unexpectedly died.

I was really excited to read Matt Logelin's masterpiece. I've been off-and-on following his blog at since Madeline was very small. Two Kisses for Maddy was good. It was painful and beautiful and hard to put down.  I gave it four stars. Matt's not the greatest writer in the world - I don't think he ever claimed to be - but his memoir was clearly written from the heart and I really appreciated reading the finer details of his story in a format unlike the telegram-esque weirdly spaced fragmented thoughts he uses on his blog. Each chapter begins with such a "clip" from his blog, but then goes on to read in a regular paragraph-style. I very much liked that. The one thing that keeps me "forgetting" about his blog for a month or two at a time is the fact that I find the posts to be difficult to get through typed out the way they are. I appreciate his style and I love reading his updates, but the choppiness gets to driving me batty.

Anyways, I really did enjoy this book. I can't say it'd be a great book for just anyone as his is a really devastating story and he doesn't attempt to sugarcoat it or censor his language (not that he should) at all. I'm sure that some people would be offended by the frequent F-bombs. I enjoyed those particularly, though. When he wrote that he was "crying like a motherfucker," I smiled because it was so REAL and normal. When the first line of the eulogy he delivered at his 30-year-old wife's funeral was, "This fucking sucks," I found myself nodding grimly. It does fucking suck. It is the kind of story that makes you want to put your arms around everyone you love and squeeze really hard. It makes you reconsider any and all hesitations within your own life.

Matt strikes me as a nerdy guy. He frequently references his favorite music and relates some of the most overwhelming moments in his own life to lyrics of his most-loved songs. I like that, though. And while it's obviously a tragedy that Madeline will grow up never having actually met the mother she so resembles, the woman that was so utterly thrilled to bring her into the world and share it with her... She is really lucky to have a father as determined as Matt Logelin is to give her a wonderful upbringing and to protect the memory of Liz.

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