I saw a friend the other day at Starbucks. He happens to have written the #1 helpful review of Paint Chips. He told me that he hasn’t read My Mother’s Chamomile. Then he asked me why he should read it.
What a great question.
I’ve been thinking about the answers to that question ever since. And here are a few answers I came up with.
1. Because it’s about Funeral Directors: Unless you are one or have a friendship with one, you might not understand what it means to work in the funeral business. I did a lot of research, educating myself about their lives. They are not only interesting because of what they do, they are also extremely mercy-rich people who live the life of service to others.
2. Because it might help you mourn: A few years ago, a friend of mine died. I had the hardest time grieving her until I read a book by Lisa Samson. Because of that novel, I was able to mourn and heal from the loss of my friend. Now, I know that we don’t like to get too emotional. And I realize that grief is uncomfortable. But to allow ourselves to really feel those emotions, we are behaving in a healthy way.
3. Because it will help build empathy muscles. Science has proved it; reading fiction makes us more compassionate, empathetic people. Novels have a way of putting us in the shoes of others, causing us to see the world in a different way. A way that links us to other human beings. Gary Schmidt (author of Young Adult books such as Okay For Now) said, “Story makes us humane and more human”. If nothing else, My Mother’s Chamomile will put you in the shoes of Funeral Directors. It will help you see the world through the eyes of a family who is in the middle of a great loss. It will cause you to think about how much we humans really are very much alike.
I believe in this story. Yes, because I wrote it. But also because I know the impact it had on me as I wrote it. And I’ve heard from others who have been moved by it. It isn’t my story. It’s the story of all of us, really. And I sincerely hope that you’ll consider giving it a read.