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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review: Godspeed: a Love Story by Dan Chabot

This story is rich with sorrow survived by uplifting encouragement. Well worth reading!
by Dan Chabot
  • File Size: 419 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477435360
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Babop/Dan Chabot; 1 edition (September 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: September 28, 2012
How far will a man go to atone for guilt?
When Derry and Amedee meet during her first day on the job at the Milwaukee Ledger, it is a collision of destinies. Their love affair is so intense and perfect and pure that they are certain it will be eternal. But when it ends in heartbreak, compounded by the ignominy of a disastrously mismanaged funeral service, Derry descends into an abyss of devastation and remorse and despair.

In his overpowering grief this tormented newspaperman embarks on an obsessive crusade for redemption, an astonishing twist that will leave readers tearful yet smiling in sympathetic admiration. His improbable, tender quest eventually will lead him to peace of mind, and to someone who will help him build a new life from the ashes of the past.

"Godspeed" is a bittersweet story of laughter and tears, irrepressible humor, reckless devotion, the value of true friendship, and unimaginable longing for the "forever" that can no longer be. And as the story and its astonishing twists unfold, a poignant question lingers: How can a lie be wrong if it makes so many people feel so good?

The story begins with a prologue set in 2012 and then flashes back in time to tell “how it all happened."  The first Chapter presents a view of a funeral in 1974. Other chapters of vignettes covering funerals are scattered through the story of Derry and his romance.  Each one the funeral services is winding down when an older gentleman stands up and shares some remarkable things that the deceased did that encouraged or helped others. These special deeds were not known by the community, the closest friends or even the family. After several of these testimonies it is clear that each life had a tragic error or wrong in the past but there was a later heroic behavior or good, kind deeds that made a difference and redeemed the past.  Each family was left with a wonderful, warm memory of their loved one.

Between the funeral eulogies we meet Derry, a younger newspaperman surrounded by other eccentric newspeople, consisting of some unique friends and a few curmudgeon and not so nice co-workers.  One day a beautiful young woman walks in as the new copy editor and Derry falls in love. The romance between Derry and Amedee is passionately and wonderfully developed with humor and warmth.  They share the joys of new love, new passion, comfortable companionship, and the excitement and anticipation of a wedding and birth. Then tragedy strikes.

The reader is swept along with Derry’s sorrow, grief, dark depression and guilt.  Derry is so devastated by Amedee’s death that he is unable to properly plan her funeral which turns out to be a disaster. It takes some time, but finally Derry discovers a way to begin to pull himself from the bleakness of his despair and guilt.  It still takes a confrontation by a stranger and the support of family and friends to push Derry beyond his grief and by then the reader realizes “how it all happened.”

This is an emotional love story that experiences great, happy highs and a deep, sad low. But it is also a story that affirms love and life for 'ordinary', every-day people. Although there is tragedy and sadness the author entertains with passion, humor and a very uplifting and positive message. The story is very well written with good characters, strong descriptions and great empathy shared in the funeral testimonies. I especially enjoyed the newsroom input since I have a journalism degree.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes warm emotional stories and especially to anyone who might need encouragement. If you think that your life, or others around you, are not each of great individual worth and importance, please read this book.

I loved this closing phrase that is perfect:
“A pebble, once cast into the pond, cannot be retrieved. The ripples spread ever outward.”
My note thoughts: Beautiful, touching, poignant.

I received this from the Author for an honest review.
This is set in Milwaukee for my Where Are You Reading Challenge and I will also add it to my New Author challenge list.

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