From the Lake House: A Mother’s Odyssey of Loss and Love by Kristen Rademacher
Publisher: She Writes Press (July 21, 2020)
Category: Memoir, Grief, Motherhood
Available in Print and ebook, 237 pages
Dizzy with grief after a shattering breakup, Kristen did what any sensible thirty-nine-year-old woman would do: she fled, abandoning her well-ordered life in metropolitan Boston and impulsively relocating to a college town in North Carolina to start anew with a freshly divorced southerner.
Dismissing the neon signs that flashed Rebound Relationship, Kristen was charmed by the host of contrasts with her new beau. He loved hunting and country music, she loved yoga and NPR; he worried about nothing, she worried about everything. The luster of her new romance and small-town lifestyle soon―and predictably―faded, but by then a pregnancy test stick had lit up. As Kristen’s belly grew, so did her concern about the bond with her partner―and so did a fierce love for her unborn child. Ready or not, she was about to become a mother. And then, tragedy struck.
Poignant and insightful, From the Lake House explores the echoes of rash decisions and ill-fated relationships, the barren and disorienting days an aching mother faces without her baby, and the mysterious healing that can take root while rebuilding a life gutted from loss.
Buy From the Lake House by Kristen Rademacher
Guest Review by Linda Lu
A deeply moving and absolutely heartbreaking tale of one woman’s struggle to cope with loss and change in her life and to keep moving forward.
Kristen Rademacher suffered a lot of tragedies in a short amount of time. Kristen was deeply affected by the attacks of 9/11 after having lived in New York during her childhood and then living in Boston but the grief was compounded by the fact that her serious boyfriend left her on that day.
After coping with that and trying to get back on her feet emotionally, Kristen met a new man while staying at her brother’s house. Jason was everything that Kristen is not, conservative, southern, a lover of guns and country music to Kristen’s liberal, Boston-dwelling self.
They were almost polar opposites, but of course, as the saying goes, opposites attract. Shortly after they started dating and at the age of 39, Kristen became pregnant.
After nine months of excitement and anticipation, Kristen missed her due date and soon found out that her baby, though previously strong and healthy, had died in the womb. Kristen’s account of her delivery of her stillborn daughter and the despair and depression that she suffered afterward were heartbreaking to read. I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up when she gave birth to her little girl and had to say goodbye to her only one hour later.
This book almost felt like an exorcism for the author, in a really healthy way. Kristen’s writing was very beautiful and I felt for her on such a deep level while reading. She truly made the experience of giving birth to a stillborn baby so devastatingly real for the reader in these pages.
This is one to read if you love stories about overcoming life’s toughest circumstances and the enduring love of a mother.
“Over the course of this book, in well-structured, descriptive prose, Rademacher effectively leads readers through a gradually withering romantic relationship that culminates in a tragedy . . . Some of the most painful sections of the book are her loving letters to the little girl whom she held for but an hour, and whom she named Carly. It soon becomes clear that these missives helped to lead her back from a precipice of despair, so that she could finally face her future. A poignant and painful remembrance with comforting messages for the grieving.”-Kirkus Reviews
“Kristen Rademacher’s achingly honest memoir about her losses of place, partner, and much-anticipated baby daughter Carly resonates with courage and an abiding gratitude for the preciousness of life. A truly tender reflection about loss that illuminates the devastating experience of baby loss.”-Janel Atlas, writer and editor of They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth
“From the Lake House is an intimate, inspiring story of surviving in a world where blessings and tragedy walk hand in hand. Written with tender honesty and luscious language, it is a joy to read, even amidst the pangs of heartache and loss. As a bereaved mother, I found myself nodding in agreement with so many of Rademacher’s experiences of life after the death of a child . . . This book is for memoir-lovers and anyone who finds themselves in a turbulent relationship or who has said goodbye to a dearly loved child . . . Rademacher champions solitude for its healing capacities and the wholeness birthed from dogged, hard-earned resiliency. Perceptive and endearing, it is a moving saga of motherhood.”-Alexis Marie Chute, award-winning author of Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing, and Pregnancy After Loss
“In this beautifully written and poignant memoir, we learn that though people and dreams die, relationships don’t. If we’re attuned, the dead can transform our lives, offering enduring love and guidance―and hope.”-Carol Henderson, author of Losing Malcolm: A Mother’s Journey Through Loss and Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers
About the Author
Kristen Rademacher has lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina since 2002, which is when she began writing. FROM THE LAKE HOUSE is her first memoir. With a Master’s Degree in Education and a Professional Coaching Certification, Kristen is an Academic Coach and ADHD Specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also leads trainings and presentations at national conferences on the topic of academic coaching.
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