Monday, October 19, 2015

Find the Good

Find the Good

Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer

By Heather Lende


Last week while visiting our local library, Heather Lende’s short novel caught my attention with its bright lemon image and title. I was rather curious what a lemon and the statement “Find the Good” was about.

Stained glass lemon suncatchers that I recently made that reminds me of good.

My interest was further piqued when I noticed that this book was penned by an obituary writer from Haines, Alaska. Gentle humor, deeply emotional stories drawn from personal experience—Lende's books are what Nicolas Sparks might have produced if he was a writer from a small Alaskan fishing village.

Through interviewing the deceased’s survivors, Lende has witnessed many significant lessons from people such as Harriet Stoll, Clyde Bell, Hilma and countless others. The life lessons are not only from those that have passed away but from those that are living. 

"The life you imagine doesn't just happen while you are daydreaming about it on the drive across the country. It requires effoet once you reach your destination." Heather Lende

Heather Lende is a master at prose and for connecting with the reader. Yet, much of what Lende writes is common sense, be a good friend, help others, and never take a moment for granted. Nevertheless, it is how the author weaves the community choir, the homeless woman with a dog, and her own granddaughter into each story that makes this book standout. 

My favorite chapter was, “Don’t Judge a Lady by Her Hat.” This personal essay was a fine example of how quick we are to judge and lack the perspective of seeing beyond ourselves.

 I also enjoyed the many thought provoking quotes. 

"The capacity for love in a human heat is not limited by its size. Rather than divide the heart's chambers into smaller rooms as the family grows, love multiplies them."

 Moreover, I was pleased with how well written it was. Find the good will appeal more to the female middle age and older audience. It is rather short and one can finish this book in a day.  I did find some of the stories a bit monotonous in tone but most were heartwarming and gave me much satisfaction as a reader.  


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