Review by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite
The Gift Of Great Sorrow is a work of non-fiction in the memoir and emotional writing subgenres. It is aimed at the general reading audience and was penned by author Louise Braün Frank. Aptly subtitled “A Journey Thru Pain To Purpose”, the work seeks to offer guidance and solidarity to those who find their lives beset by sudden tragedy. The author’s heartbreaking personal experiences convey how she suffered the loss of her two children from a progressive terminal disease. Through her own experiences, Louise relates how she took this unimaginable tragedy and transformed it into a meaningful and purposeful new direction for her life in order to heal. What results is a work that inspires and warms the heart, even in the darkest of times.
Author Louise Braün Frank offers a sensitive work that tackles both sudden loss and child death in a dignified and very empathetic fashion. One of the features that I found especially accomplished and uplifting in this work was its narrative voice, which delivers honesty and vulnerability whilst acknowledging and validating a wide variety of emotions. But Louise also writes with an unwavering sense of hope, and even during the most upsetting moments of the journey, readers have a secure kind of feeling that life will go on, and strength and healing will come, no matter what life throws at us. The Gift Of Great Sorrow is an admirable and moving work of memoir writing that is filled with purposeful emotion, and a book that I genuinely believe will help any reader whose life has been touched by sudden tragedy. A highly recommended read.
Review by Trin:
I just finished reading
“The Gift of Sorrow”
I’m not sure what I expected, but it was very raw, real, and truly inspiring. The concept of finding purpose though pain was clearly communicated in a way that will bring fresh perspective and hope to many in all walks of life!
Thank you Louise for being brave enough to look back and share how you and your precious children not only survived, but thrived and helped each other discover the beautiful gifts that are so easy to overlook or take for granted in our everyday lives.
Review by Jim Morgan:
I ordered your book, The Gift of Great Sorrow, from Amazon. I couldn’t wait to read it.
Having grown up in the same military environment as you, knowing you as Denise and Pete’s spunky little sister, and then years later having our own personal connection through grief, the anticipation I felt was palpable. I began reading it the minute it arrived. I was not disappointed.
I found myself glued to every page shaking my head in bewilderment and wonder at your childhood experiences, in many ways similar yet different from mine. I rooted for you as I read about your adventures while becoming an adult. I felt your despair, anxiety, and hopelessness at having to deal with some very tough choices along the way as a young woman and ultimately as a parent.
You allowed me (and every other reader) to experience your truth. The good, the bad and the ugly.
You unlocked your Pandora’s box of troubling childhood memories, self-doubts, fears, guilt, and sorrow. You allowed me a glimpse into who you were and the amazing woman you’ve become. For me, that is a gift.
Reading your story, witnessing your determination and your vulnerabilities, your dedication to your son and daughter, Joshua and Leah, and the personal sacrifices you endured is a humbling and inspiring experience.
Your writing took me on a rollercoaster ride, Louise. One minute in awe, the next laughing, the next crying. Okay, I’ll admit it, a lot of crying. Sometimes I had difficulty breathing as your words triggered memories and emotions of my own. My heart became heavy, my gut hurt, and I cried with you and for you. As you brought me through those years of emotional, mental, and physical ordeals, your victories filled my heart with hope and gratitude.
Your positivity, your call to action to honour Joshua and Leah by creating the “Joy Thru Tears Foundation” showed me how to take “Why can’t I?” to “How can I?”. And for that, I am forever grateful.
A quote from the movie, ‘The Aeronauts’ comes to mind. “You don’t change the world simply by looking at it. You change it through the way you choose to live in it. Look up, the sky lies open.”
Louise, you truly know how to live in this world. Your example is inspiring.
Review by Tammi Booth
The hardest most beautiful book I have read. Thank you Louise for having the courage to share this. So many beautiful memories, tears and things I didn’t know but my heart needed to know. I’m still not done because I’ve had to take a few emotional breaks but I just wanted to say thank you ♥️ . Thank you for sharing your story so honestly and thank you for seeing in me that I needed your family as much as you needed me. Love you! Without you in more ways then one ♥️♥️🤣 I would not have the family I have today. (For anyone who doesn’t know Ryan I met through this amazing family and MDA camp ♥️)