Joy Enough: A Memoir
Sifting gingerly through memories of her late mother, brilliant newcomer Sarah McColl has penned an indelible tribute to the joy and pain of loving well. Even as her own marriage splinters, McColl drops everything when her mother is diagnosed with cancer, returning to the family farmhouse and laboring over elaborate meals in the hopes of nourishing her back to health. In a series of vibrant vignettes--lipstick applied, novels read, imperfect cakes baked--McColl reveals a woman of endless charm and infinite love for her unruly brood of children.
Mining the dual losses of both her young marriage and her beloved mother, McColl confronts her identity as a woman, walking lightly in the footsteps of the woman who came before her and clinging fast to the joy she left behind. With candor reminiscent of classics like C. S. Lewis's A Grief Observed, Joy Enough offers a story that blooms with life.
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About the Author
Beautifully tender; a deceptively delicate slow-burn story of grief and love and the desire to hold close those we love.--Sophie Mackintosh. Booker Longlisted author of The Water Cure
Written with enough beauty to stop clocks ticking and heart's beating.... McColl's resonant first book is resplendent with love, and the hope she finds in discovering that her unfathomable grief also carved a space for more profound joy.--Annie Bostrom, Booklist (starred review)
It doesn't take long to find yourself in McColl's rhythm, attuned to the beautiful colors and fragrances and tastes that lodge themselves in our memories.... McColl's argument -- that these small moments make up a life, that these small moments are life - is persuasive, and it is presented with humor and charm.... This is a book about an extraordinary figure who was a housewife, mother, and divorcee. The word 'mother' doesn't entirely do her justice, and yet that's what this memoir does: does her justice, in more than a summarizing word.--Rachel Kong, New York Times Book Review
Joy Enough is so compelling that I stayed up most of the night while traveling by train in a sleeper car. Sarah McColl's exquisite memoir is the perfect balm for anyone who has experienced the sharp sting of loneliness or inhabited the liminal space between grief and happiness.--Michele Filgate, writer and contributing editor at LitHub
Joy Enough is a diamond in book form, a beauty forged by the weight of loss and learning. It stunned me with its taut clarity, with the way it probes - quietly, gently, unflinchingly - the parts of life that a lot of us don't like to look at: death, divorce, the pleasures and pitfalls of the body. This may be Sarah McColl's debut, but it's a towering achievement by any standard. McColl has a rare talent, and it shines.--Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life and Delancey