“We can do extraordinary things when we lead with love,” Barbara Becker reminds us in her debut memoir
Product Code: 5861
ISBN: 9781250095985
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Published Date: 05/11/2021
Pages: 224
Availability:In stock
N/A
Price: $25.99

When her earliest childhood friend is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Becker sets off on a quest to immerse herself in what it means to be mortal. Can we live our lives more fully knowing some day we will die?

With a keen eye towards that which makes life worth living, Barbara Becker - a perpetual seeker, a mom, and an interfaith leader - recounts stories where life and death intersect in unexpected ways. She volunteers on a hospice floor, becomes an eager student of the many ways people find meaning at the end of life, and accompanies her parents in their final days.

Becker inspires readers to live with the end in mind and proves that turning toward loss rather than away from it is the only true way to live life to its fullest. Just as with the heartwood of a tree - the central core that is no longer alive yet supports the newer growth rings - the dead become an enduring source of strength to the living.

With life-affirming prose, Becker helps us see that that grief is not a problem to be solved, but rather a sacred invitation - an opportunity to let go into something even greater…a love that will inform all the days of our lives.


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"In Heartwood, Barbara Becker inspires us to follow our curiosity into a world that is both universal and a source of our uniqueness. And what could be better than that?" - Gloria Steinem, bestselling author and activist

"Heartwood is a luminous book...Within the first few pages I knew I could trust Barbara Becker to navigate the holy land of death and grief and take me with her...I have rarely read a book that left me feeling so fundamentally blessed. Highly recommended." - Mirabai Starr, author of Caravan of No Despair and Wild Mercy

Heartwood is wise and moving without a wasted word. Becker’s luminous meditation on death and life is a gift to us all." - Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps

"Becker takes us on a poignant journey through her life in Heartwood. She shows us the threads connecting herself to ones who passed and with each tug on a thread we learn more about love and loss, life and death. Precious stories that have the power to move your heart, this book is a true gift. - Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Love and Real Change

“Becker debuts with a stirring chronicle of the events, moments, and stories that led to her reconciliation with mortality…Becker’s eloquence is a salve for confronting a difficult topic…This will be a comfort for anyone contemplating their own mortality, or those in search of advice for others.” - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"A graceful meditation on divine deliverance...Once firmly entrenched in our “death-shy” contemporary culture, the author is now a reassuring advocate for peace and interreligious understanding, and she views dying as an opportunity to seek enlightenment and give thanks, regardless of one’s preferred spiritual path." - Kirkus

"A resource filled with wisdom and one that readers will find themselves returning to often in both good times and bad." - Shelf Awareness

"An affecting and informative memoir about the lessons we can glean from life as well as death." - Library Journal

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