**WINNER OF THE DIAMOND BOOK AWARD FOR BOOK OF THE YEAR***~~Cynthia Reyes has done it again. Weaving together the strands of her life — the pain, the joy and the totally unexpected — she shares in this new book intensely lyrical stories of life with her husband in their historic farmhouse north of Toronto. As in her first book, A Good Home, Cynthia pulls you right into her life – into the couple’s kitchen, the bedroom, the verandah, under the ancient apple trees, and in the prolific gardens she and her husband created before a car accident changed their lives. After years of being held hostage in the farmhouse by her injuries — post-traumatic stress, a head injury and excruciating pain — the author takes the reader with her on her search for joy, beauty and faith. You will experience her daily challenges, but you will also find yourself immersed in beauty and love. You will walk beside her in the garden, hear the birds sing, smell the flowers. You will sit at the harvest table of the large farmhouse kitchen, laugh with her at life’s surprises, and taste the food she and her husband prepare from the vegetables, herbs, fruit and berries grown on the lush land surrounding the farmhouse. You will hear her private conversations with her husband and children, sit beside them in the back pew of the small historic church they attend, and hear her conversations with friends and neighbours.This is a book about a woman’s commitment to creating beauty from the materials that life serves up to her, whether they be dark and haunting or light and joyful.
Review: This is one of those rare books that you don’t want to rush. One that you want to savour. I speed-read… A lot, but when I come across a work like Cynthia’s with its depth for inspiration through great story telling and references to and from great poets and philosophers that naturally blend with what is being shared, it becomes impossible.
It’s a beautiful memoir full of love and grace, and has a depth that’s so touching you’ll be completely engulfed. Cynthia bears her soul as she deals with the turmoil of PTSD and chronic pain, as well as coming to terms with how it affects those around her, especially her unwavering husband, Hamlin.
There are so many incredible accounts…. happy, hopeful, sad, insightful, delirious, joyful… And yet all are shared in the most sincere manner. Among my favourites are, the episodes in library, the meetings with friends, Hamlin’s unwavering support throughout, (I do love that name) and the depth of knowledge and wisdom that is shared with the help of great poets like, Keats, Whitworth, and great philosophers like Nietzsche, as well as vignettes from the book of psalms.
This is one of the easiest five stars I have given. A truly inspirational account.