Anchor and Flares: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hope, and Service (Hardcover)
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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.
About the Author
Kate Braestrup serves as chaplain to the Maine (Game) Warden Service. She is the author of a novel, Onion, and several bestselling memoirs. She has written for O, the Oprah Magazine, the New York Times, More Magazine and the Huffington Post. She lives in Maine with her husband, Simon van der Ven, and their six children.
"Kate Braestrup is funny, reflective, and--above all--honest. In Anchor and Flares, she has proven, once again, that she is a writer upon whom nothing is lost, even when her mind is reeling."—Phyllis Theroux, author of Night Lights: Bedtime Stories for Parents in the Dark
"Kate Braestrup is at the very top of her game with Anchor and Flares. She's working to understand the very heart of parenthood--the weave of attachments that make it almost impossible to do what we know we must: let go."
—Kelly Corrigan, author of Glitter and Glue and The Middle Place
"Reading Anchor and Flares is like having a fiercely compassionate and comically no-nonsense best friend meandering with you through meditations on faith, war, death, and parenting. Why? Why? Why? Braestrup asks a million times, in a million different ways. Sometimes the answer is courage or grief or hope. But usually it's love."
—Catherine Newsman, author of Waiting for Birdy
"Sensitive and wholesomely charming, the book is refreshingly free of preachy proselytization and instead addresses the bittersweetness of parenthood and perennial nurturing. Braestrup delivers another appealing, tenderhearted memoir braiding faith and family."
"Braestrup cuts an intriguing figure in her warm, thoughtful chronicle of her time in the trenches as a parent and on the job. Braestrup's compassion, grace, and wisdom come through loud and clear."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)