3 Reasons to Read My Mother’s Chamomile


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.  



13 Comments on “3 Reasons to Read My Mother’s Chamomile

  1. I think all three reasons are great reasons on why someone should read “My Mother’s Chamomile”. I read it as soon as it came out on Kindle and you didn’t disappoint me. It was a very emotional book but very cathartic. When classes are done in a few weeks I am eager to read it again and then I think I will read “Paint Chips” again too.


  2. I think one should read this book because it causes you to think about your blessings . . . bitter water/sweet water. Ever since reading it, I’ve been trying to recognize the “sweet water” in my life.


  3. I’m excited to get my hands on that. I feel those stories that help us grieve are some of the most powerful stories. Sorrow is a spot where we just need to know we’re not alone, and your book can give people that reassurance. Thanks for being willing to write one of those hard but powerful stories.


    • Thank you, Lex! Yes, one of the reasons I write is because I’ve felt alone in my feelings for a long time. I’m learning how many of us there are who have been through a few different kinds of wringers. I’m so glad to be able to encourage through my words, at least I hope that’s the case.


  4. As a wife of a minister (not at all the same thing as funeral director) it can be really isolating (also totally awesome and amazing) and reading about other people’s lives is a way to break down some of those walls.


  5. Lovely, Susie. And I totally agree. Fiction helps us become more empathetic. I’ve always believed that. You expressed so well why people should read My Mother’s Chamomile.


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