Anchor & flares A memoir of motherhood, hope, and service

Kate Braestrup

Book - 2015

A devoted Christian family woman recounts the wrenching loss of her first husband and her joyful years of raising a blended family before confronting fears surrounding her son's decision to enlist in the military.

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BIOGRAPHY/Braestrup, Kate
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Subjects
Published
New York : Little, Brown, and Company 2015.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
327 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780316373784
0316373788
Main Author
Kate Braestrup (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Braestrup's Here if You Need Me (2007), telling how she became a chaplain after her young husband's death, limned her grief as well as her admirable determination. This one takes her fans with her as she remarries and watches her children (now numbering six, with stepchildren) take the steps to adulthood, heading to college, and, most especially, for oldest son Zach, into the U.S. Marines. Braestrup pulls from many angles here, discussing not just parenting and choices but past wars and consequences, current wars, and the social climate in the world and the U.S., from segregation to the ubiquitous nature of the Internet. Among her reflections, she intersperses letters of advice to her children, written with the bittersweet realization that times have not only changed but continue to do so. Her belief in God, from her Universalist Unitarian perspective, provokes commentary on faith and love that will bolster, not exclude, readers concerned with spirituality. Braestrup's straightforward, empathic writing folds in many well-considered thoughts. She speaks from experience, and her viewpoint will serve parents, grandparents, and all those struggling to deal with maintaining their nests as they empty. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Braestrup came crashingly to our attention with Here If You Need Me, a heart shaker about her pursuing a career as chaplain to the Maine (Game) Warden Service after the death of her state trooper husband. Here, as a protective mother who's also taught the value of service, she considers what it's like to watch her eldest son depart for the U.S. Marines. With a reading group guide. [Page 68]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Braestrup (Here if You Need Me) cuts an intriguing figure in her warm, thoughtful chronicle of her time in the trenches as a parent and on the job. A mother of four with two stepchildren from her second marriage, she goes for a Masters in Divinity as a young widow and becomes a chaplain to the Maine Warden Service, wearing what a poet described as "SWAT-Team pastorwear." Her job is to comfort the friends and family of those missing or killed, and provide support to the wardens who go on rescue and recovery missions. Braestrup is not, however, a stereotypical Bible-thumper. As a young mother in the 1980s who gave her children feminist interpretations of "The Three Little Pigs," she was preoccupied with her little boys becoming "agents of oppression" and dressed them in pinks and florals, while her daughters were encouraged to get their overalls messy. She regularly questions her skills and the lessons she has passed on,. When her oldest son, taking a page from his grandfathers who joined up, decides to enlist with the Marines at 17, she wrestles with the standard set by the men in the family while contemplating whether she has prepared him to stay true to himself and maintain a moral compass that will give him courage and keep him safe. Braestrup's compassion, grace, and wisdom come through loud and clear. Agent: Sally Wofford-Girand, Union Literary. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A Maine minister recounts the wrenching loss of her first husband, her remarriage, and her joyful years of raising a blended family before confronting fears surrounding her son's decision to enlist in the Marines.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A devoted Christian family woman recounts the wrenching loss of her first husband and her joyful years of raising a blended family before confronting fears surrounding her son's decision to enlist in the military. By the author of the national best-seller Here If You Need me. 40,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A devoted Unitarian-Universalist family woman recounts the wrenching loss of her first husband and her joyful years of raising a blended family before confronting fears surrounding her son's decision to enlist in the military.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Kate Braestrup's life was transformed by the loss of her husband; now Kate faces the possibility that she may lose her son. As a young mother, Kate Braestrup discovered the fierce protectiveness that accompanies parenthood. In the intervening years -- through mourning her husband and the joy of remarriage and a blended family-Kate has absorbed the rewards and complications of that spirit. But when her eldest son joins the Marines, Kate is at a crossroads: Can she reconcile her desire to protect her children with her family's legacy of service? Can parents balance the joy of a child's independence with the fear of letting go? As Kate examines the twinned emotions of faith and fear -- inspired by the families she meets as a chaplain and by her son's journey towards purpose and familyhood -- she learns that the threats we can't predict will rip us apart and knit us together.