Tuesday, January 31, 2012

C. Jane Enjoy Rules of Inheritance


My mental facebook has pages reserved for people I find fascinating and Claire Bidwell Smith is on the front page. I met Claire in 2010 on a BlogHer trip to Chicago. She was the most lovely person I had ever come across--I know that sounds like a spewed compliment, but I mean it, lovely, interesting, sweet and smart.
I had left my baby Ever to attend this trip even though I was breast feeding regularly at the time. Claire was also nursing her baby Veronica, so we bonded over tight chests and lonesome moments away from our children. At the time Claire was living in Chicago, and after our initial dinner together she left for home back to her baby. I made my way up to my room at the top of the hotel, heavy-chested but happy to have met a such an interesting human being.
The next day Claire told me she wanted to write a book about grief. Both of her parents had passed away due to cancer by the time she was twenty-five and because she was an only child, she was left without an immediate family.

This scenario was so starkly different from my own life of family abundance I couldn't really process the idea of not having anyone around. After our trip was over we continued to email and correspond. Last year, Claire wrote a guest post for me about healing called, What I Know Now (a must read!) Then she did it. She finished writing her book--a poetic memoir about her life--and it was picked up by Penguin. I was honored when she sent me an advanced copy.


Anytime I get a few minutes of my own these days, I hide myself in the bathroom and open the pages of my friend's book--her personal tale about how our tragedies and our joys are all encompassed in our families. And when I think about like that, it's not so hard for me to imagine her life at all.

The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith is now for sale. She's getting great reviews all over the charts (James Frey) plus posts in Oprah Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. I am so proud of her.

And her book website here has a video of Claire talking about how grief can be beautiful. If you watch it you'll agree with my" lovely" description. That was one fateful BlogHer trip indeed.






this month I've decided to write a book while simultaneously breastfeeding my baby and battling the postpartum blues. should be a blast. stay tuned.

9 comments:

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing this book. I too am an "only" and after losing both parents in 2007 (within 7 months of each other), I can certainly relate to her feelings.

Nicole said...

This is my worst fear ever. I am an only child as well and my mother had breast cancer 2 years ago. I tear up with just a thought of it coming back. I cannot imagine losing both your parents with no siblings. I will have to check this out! Thank you.

Adrienne said...

Having lost my mother nearly ten years ago, this only child must thank you for the "introduction" to Claire you shared after returning from BlogHer. I've become a loyal blog reader of hers, too, and I am counting down the days until my preorder copies (yes, I said copies) of her book arrive.

Livyb said...

Courtney-
I had completely forgotten that I found her blog through you. Love her writing. I hardly read a post without crying. Thank you! Thank you! Can't wait to read her book and yours too!

Vanessa said...

I am going to buy this for my mother. She lost her parents to early to the same horrible disease. She gets very lonely sometimes and feels like no one around her can really relate. This book will be good for her. Thank you for telling us about it.

-vanessa inevergrewup.net

Paige said...

I lost my mother to cancer 1 year ago, her words spoke right to my heart. Thank you for sharing!! I will have to check out her book. Oh and on a completely different note I can't wait for best blogging week ever, my hubby and i love it!

Maggie May said...

I am in love with her right now. Her writing on her blog alone is fantastic. ( Hi there if you are reading this :))). So glad you chose to promote her and I cannot wait to read this book.

Claire said...

I just want to say thank you to all these lovely commenters, and to Courtney for connecting us. I'm so touched that my writing and experience resonates with you.

Geo said...

Think I need to read this book. No, actually, I'm certain of it. It's a little close to home. Thanks for the recommendation, C. Jane. xo