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Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor - Excerpt with Readers Guide

Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor - Excerpt with Readers Guide

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“I know. I know. No one says it but I know…” —from Signs of Life

Twenty-four-year-old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life. At the age of twenty four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way. Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident. Four months before the birth of her son, Natalie is leveled by loss.

What follows is an incredibly powerful emotional journey, as Natalie calls upon resources she didn’t even know she had in order to re-imagine and re-build a life for her and her son. In vivid and immediate detail, Natalie documents her life from the day of Josh’s death through the birth their son, Kai, as she struggles in her role as a new mother where everyone is watching her for signs of impending collapse. With honesty, raw pain, and most surprising, a wicked sense of humor, Natalie recounts the agonies and unexpected joys of her new life. There is the frustration of holidays, navigating the relationship with her in-laws, the comfort she finds and unlikely friendship she forges in support groups and the utterly breathtaking, but often overwhelming new motherhood. When she returns to the classroom, she finds that little is more healing than the honesty and egocentricity of teenagers.

Drawing on lessons from beloved books like The Color Purple and The Catcher in the Rye and the talk shows she suddenly can’t get enough of, from the strength of her family and friends, and from a rich fantasy life—including a saucy fairy godmother who guides her grieving—Natalie embarks on the ultimate journey of self-discovery and realizes you can sometimes find the best in yourself during the worst life has to offer. And she delivers these lessons, in way that feels like she’s right beside you in her bathrobe and with a glass of wine--the cool, funny girlfriend you love to stay up all night with.

Unforgettable and utterly absorbing, Signs of Life features a powerful, wholly original debut voice that will have you crying and laughing to the very last page.

To read more about Signs of Life or Natalie Taylor please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com
“I know. I know. No one says it but I know…” —from Signs of Life

Twenty-four-year-old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life. At the age of twenty four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way. Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident. Four months before the birth of her son, Natalie is leveled by loss.

What follows is an incredibly powerful emotional journey, as Natalie calls upon resources she didn’t even know she had in order to re-imagine and re-build a life for her and her son. In vivid and immediate detail, Natalie documents her life from the day of Josh’s death through the birth their son, Kai, as she struggles in her role as a new mother where everyone is watching her for signs of impending collapse. With honesty, raw pain, and most surprising, a wicked sense of humor, Natalie recounts the agonies and unexpected joys of her new life. There is the frustration of holidays, navigating the relationship with her in-laws, the comfort she finds and unlikely friendship she forges in support groups and the utterly breathtaking, but often overwhelming new motherhood. When she returns to the classroom, she finds that little is more healing than the honesty and egocentricity of teenagers.

Drawing on lessons from beloved books like The Color Purple and The Catcher in the Rye and the talk shows she suddenly can’t get enough of, from the strength of her family and friends, and from a rich fantasy life—including a saucy fairy godmother who guides her grieving—Natalie embarks on the ultimate journey of self-discovery and realizes you can sometimes find the best in yourself during the worst life has to offer. And she delivers these lessons, in way that feels like she’s right beside you in her bathrobe and with a glass of wine--the cool, funny girlfriend you love to stay up all night with.

Unforgettable and utterly absorbing, Signs of Life features a powerful, wholly original debut voice that will have you crying and laughing to the very last page.

To read more about Signs of Life or Natalie Taylor please visit Crown Publishing Group at www.crownpublishing.com

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Publish date: Apr 12, 2011
Added to Scribd: Apr 25, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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deadgirl_1 reviewed this
I didn't think I could ever understand the pain of losing a spouse, but I had a good glimpse of this darkness through this book. Natalie Taylor wrote with great honesty and sincerity. At times I felt like slapping her for being selfish and judgemental, but mostly I just wanted to reach in and give her a great big hug for her enormous loss and applaud her courage and strength in living with this loss. The book is very real and I especially l loved reading about her work as an English teacher as she made references to several books and the passages in them which she felt spoke to her about her situation.Death of a spouse is something I greatly fear and dare not think about, but this book was an eye opener, and helped me not to be afraid to think about it.
debnance_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Suddenly Natalie Taylor’s husband is dead. How can she go on?Every day, every hour, Natalie tries to come to grips with the sudden, tragic death of her young husband. She is expecting their first child and the couple has only been married a year and a half. It’s a very sad story.A few people try to help and do help, but most try to help and don’t help. Some people, she decides, make such a bungle of trying to help that they no longer deserve to be part of her family, so she discards them. Based on a diary Taylor kept at the time of her husband’s death, this book has an immediacy and depth that most memoirs lack. Good writing. Good therapy. Worth sharing with others, especially those who have lost a spouse.
jamesterck reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I received this book free through Shelf Awareness (big thanks go out to them, the publisher, and the author!!). In this memoir we meet Natalie who, at the young age of 24, has lost her husband of 1 1/2 years, Josh, to a tragic accident. Her life has been completely flipped upside down and she feels like she can't do anything without him. With a baby on the way, she knows she needs to get it together, but after Josh's death she just kind of goes through the motions of day to day life, a shell of her former self. When her son Kai is born, she keeps it together enough to take care of him, but the normal daily tasks she has to complete along with taking care of a newborn is just overwhelming for her. She's still grieving and she doesn't know how she'll ever be able to move forward with her life. With the help of her quirky family (and her own imagination), she begins to heal slowly but surely. My review: I was really excited to get this book! I love reading memoirs and this one sounded interesting and heartbreaking at the same time. I couldn't really relate to Natalie, because I've never really had to deal with the death of anyone close to me (except for my grandpa, but I was very young at the time and barely remember). It's tough to imagine my husband (or my son) dying, I hate to even ponder what life would be like. I imagine it would be a lot like Natalie's life after Josh's death, just going through every day but not really living. Every holiday makes her break down because he's not there, every picture she sees of him reduces her to tears, pretty much breathing reminds her that he's no longer here with her. And I don't blame her for denial; you always think these bad things happen to other people. They will never happen to you; the bad news is they can and sometimes do. Honestly, did have some trouble getting through this book. Natalie's commentary was funny at times and it was interesting to see her work toward finding herself again after Josh's death. Unfortunately at times it was repetitive and dull. I hate to even say that because I don't want to come off as insensitive, I definitely feel for Natalie and what she went through. Basically this book was derived from her journal she kept after losing Josh, so it's like a big jumble of everything she was thinking and feeling at the given time. While extremely interesting, it just didn't capture my attention very well. I definitely did get some important insight though after reading this book. The best one is when Natalie is thinking back to the days leading up to Josh's death, trying to remember what they did in those days. You never know when a life will end, so make sure to live your days to the fullest and keep your loved ones close. My rating: 3/5 stars
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