A Los Angeles Attorney, Schwartz’s family is rocked by their daughter Amy’s diagnosis, and although from the beginning the prognosis seems grim, family and friends rally together to find an answer that will turn the tide against the malignancy robbing Amy of her health.
It is a battle that will test all of them – draining the young Amy of her will to live; sending Schwartz into a place of darkness he calls a spiritual galut (which he defines as a Jewish term for one who attempts to “make sense out of a seemingly incomprehensible existence”); and taking the life of Amy’s mother – Schwartz’s wife – via a broken heart.
A heart-wrenching true account, and told with all the passion of the father who lost everything - far sooner than anyone deserves to. A father who was forced to watch his dying child cry for her lost mother, while he could only stand by, helpless. The emotions, as he recounts them, are so raw, the memoir written so soon after his loss, that the reader is in mortal danger of suffering from them, as well.
Schwartz writes with an almost ‘stream-of-
The down side of this style is that there are moments of clumsiness. Moments the reader stumbles over - the way the storyteller might have fumbled with words – things that are superfluous to the plot. These are frustrating, as they take away from the impact of what is an excellent story. With a little smoothing out, it could be even better. They say that everyone has a story to tell, but not everyone has the ability to relate theirs with the heart and grace it deserves. Schwartz’s passion already makes him a contender.
Throughout, Schwartz’s faith is another element that is moving, powerful, and even educational. Never burdensome, the author’s system of belief is a constant presence as his family faces the trials before them. In similar times of crisis, some people turn away from religion, but Schwartz finds himself with little else but his faith that, in the end, begins to find some solace.
Schwartz invites us into his family. He invites us to care for him; his wife; his daughter, Amy; and son, Scott. He invites us to laugh with them; to share their anger; to cry when they hurt, and rail when they die. The craftsmanship lies in the fact that we do all of those things willingly. Schwartz doesn’t have to be a weaver of tales, a novelist, to evoke from his readers that array of emotions. He did it by telling us his life – and doing it well.