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Monday, May 23, 2011

Royal Oak author writes about being a pregnant widow

SIGNS OF LIFE: A memoir by Natalie Taylor, a local author living in Royal Oak

A book signing will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 18, at Barnes & Noble, 396 John R. Road, Troy.

A powerful story from an incredible new voice, SIGNS OF LIFE chronicles Taylor's experiences upon hearing of the death of her husband, Josh, who died in a freak carve-boarding accident while Natalie was five months pregnant with their first child—at the age of just 24, she found herself pregnant and a widow.
Taylor found a release in writing, and in a series of journal entries she recorded her thoughts and day-to-day experiences following Josh's death through to her son, Kai's, first birthday, the entries now compiled into SIGNS OF LIFE.
We walk alongside her as she struggles in those first few months to keep it together while everyone expects her to fall apart; the bittersweet birth of Kai who will never know his father; and the everyday struggles of a single-mother trying to provide the best possible life for her child. What Taylor also shares, however, is the new kind of support she finds in friends and family; the unanticipated inspiration her students and her job as a teacher provide; and the strength she never knew she had until it was truly tested.
The result is a truly heart-wrenching and brutally honest exploration of grief—yet it's ultimately an inspiring journey in learning how to move on told in an authentic and relatable voice full of incredible depth and grace.
At times completely raw and gut-wrenching and at others elegantly insightful and luminous, this is Taylor's life as she experienced it without any shiny gloss or tired clichés.

Praise for SIGNS OF LIFE:
"Compelling" —Working Mother

"Despite the heartbreak, this candid memoir of a journey into and out of darkness has a full quota of humor and ends on a note of hope."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Natalie Taylor faced an enormous happiness challenge. In this thought-provoking memoir, she explains how she coped with it and what she learned, in a way that's profound yet funny, painful yet hopeful. I couldn't put it down."
—Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

"This is a really good book. Smart and honest."
—Kelly Corrigan, The Middle Place and Lift

"Told with pulsing heart-in-the-hand pace — this book reads like a primer for anyone who has experienced the beast that is grief. With wit, gutting honesty, and a modicum of self-pity, Taylor gives us permission to cry the necessary gamut of tears that healing requires … and that includes tears of joy."
—Laura Munson, This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness

"Some writers have a compelling story; others have an original voice. But it is the rare writer who has both. Natalie Taylor is one of those writers. Read this book if you've ever had to find your way back from the dark place of loss or if you want to hear how someone so young, and raw, and unprepared, did, all while keeping her dark sense of humor. Signs of Life proves that even in the worst of times, under the most difficult conditions, things still grow, and even thrive, in the broken places."
—Laura Zigman, Animal Husbandry

"Young women and solo mothers everywhere will find a new best friend in Natalie Taylor, who meets the challenges of her life with grace and humor."
—Julie Metz, Perfection

"One of the many things I really loved about this memoir is the inclusion of quotes from authors, and the acknowledgment that words have the power to comfort and sustain us. I wish a quote from me wasn't among them, though. That's because I'm worried that someone will think I was persuaded to like the book because I'm in it, however tangentially. The truth is that literally from page one, I was completely drawn into this remarkably honest story of what it's like to deal with the sudden loss of the person you loved most in your life. I stayed up too late and I neglected my own work to read it. I wept sometimes, but it was the cleansing kind of crying that feels good for you. More often, I laughed out loud and re-read passages for the pure pleasure of it. I was both charmed by and admiring of the narrator, who is so smart and funny and fearless and human, and whose gradual understanding of the nature of grief is so profound. Her ultimate triumph feels like our own. Sit down with this book. See if you can stop after page one."
—Elizabeth Berg, Talk Before Sleep and Once Upon a Time, There Was You


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