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Short Synopsis
From author Leah Hager Cohen comes a moving, psychologically astute novel that asks how we balance personal autonomy with the intimacy of relationships.

Full Synopsis
Is keeping a secret from a spouse always an act of infidelity? And what cost does such a secret exact on a family?

The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. Struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and for their two older children, they find themselves pretending not only that little has changed, but that their marriage, their family, have always been intact. Yet in the aftermath of the baby's death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface. A dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.

The couple's children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely—perhaps courageously—idiosyncratic ways. But as the four family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they all find themselves growing more alert to the sadness and burdens of others—to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.

Moving, psychologically acute, and gorgeously written, The Grief of Others asks how we balance personal autonomy with the intimacy of relationships, how we balance private decisions with the obligations of belonging to a family, and how we take measure of our own sorrows in a world rife with suffering. This novel shows how one family, by finally allowing itself to experience the shared quality of grief, is able to rekindle tenderness and hope.

"Cohen's stunning writing and ruthless, beautiful magnification of soul-crushing sorrow that threatens the Ryries' day-to-day family life mesmerizes, wounds, and possibly even heals her readers. Her courageous novel (she knows of what she writes) is to be savored." ---Library Journal Starred Review

"An engrossing and revealing look at family . . . Leah Hager Cohen writes about difficult subjects with unfailing compassion and insight." ---Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children

"With gorgeous prose, Cohen skillfully takes us from past to present and back again as she explores the ramifications of family loss, grief and longing." ---Kirkus

"This is an ambitious novel offering insight into the rift between the public and the private, and illuminating the many ways in which we deal with tragedy." ---Publishers Weekly
Library Journal Review

Kirkus Bestseller

New York Times Bestseller

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

The Grief of Others

Author Leah Hager Cohen

Narrated by Pam Ward

Publication date Sep 30, 2011

Running time 12 hrs

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