Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love

In a Dark Wood by Joseph Luzzi
: May 26, 2015 by Harper
One of my favorite memoirs is Two Kisses for Maddy by Matthew Logelin. It's just so inspiring to read about how Matt became a father and a widower in a 24 hour period and managed to create a new life for him and his daughter. Clearly I'm not the only one who felt that way since Channing Tatum is working on a movie adaption, but that's really not the point of this review. Basically knowing my feelings about Two Kisses for Maddy and knowing that this was also a memoir where the author becomes a father and widower in only a day, I had high hopes.

Except unfortunately for me, this didn't live up to my expectations. While the loss of Matt's wife made him step up and act as both a father and mother to Maddy, that wasn't quite the case here. Luzzi doesn't actually abandon his daughter, but instead leaves almost all of her upbringing to his mother. It takes almost 4 years before he's actually ready to be his daughter's father.

I do understand he is grieving, and can only imagine what it would be like to loose your spouse unexpectedly. But as a new mother it's hard for me to imagine turning so much of my child's care over to someone else. I can't imagine my husband doing it either.

I do realize I'm making a big deal out of one aspect of the book, but clearly it's hard for me to get over, so much that it clouded much of the rest of it. But apart from that, I wanted more from this. Parts of the book are intertwined with analysis of Dante's work. But while I understand why it's there, I didn't appreciate them as much as the actual memoir pieces. I also felt like I never really got to know any of the people within the story, at least except for Luzzi himself.

Unfortunately I don't feel like this book and I were a very good fit. I guess overall I wanted more from it, and it just never quite got there for me.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I can see why some memoirs are better than others and it sounds like you have good reasons for not liking this one. I also can't imagine me or my husband letting someone else practically raise my kids for years. You're so right in that Matt really did step up when he had to.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.