A safe place: Books create bonds that last beyond the grave


The first chapter book I remember checking out from the library was B is for Betsy, by Carolyn Haywood.

The person who recommended it to me was my mother. It was my mom who handed me Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre when I was 12 and Robert Specht’s Tisha soon after. At each stage in my life, my mom was there with a book for me to read.

As I grew into an adult and began my career as a journalist, the tables turned. I began recommending books to her. We fell in love with Sandra Dallas’ books about the Rocky Mountain West. We bonded over Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and, most recently, drooled over Sarah B. Pomeroy and Jeyaraney Kathirithamby’s Maria Sibylla Merian: Artist, Scientist, Adventurer.

My mother passed away a little over a month ago. And while we were very close for a number of reasons, books were always part of that equation.

I’ve had a hard time processing my mom’s death, in part, I think, because I’ve been in maintenance mode — preparing her house to sell, organizing her files, paying bills, etc. It’s exhausting, and I often find myself thinking about her in the strangest moments. But things are starting to smooth out. My daughter starts back to preschool in a week, and I feel like I’m starting to find my footing.

That means I hope to soon be back here on a regular schedule. My mom was in the hospital for a month, and I read some fantastic books during that time. Books that transported me away from an experience that ranged from mundane to terrifying. Those are the books I want to share with you first. Those, and some of the books I committed to sharing with you long before any of this adventure began.

This is going to be a long road for me, and I thank you for your support over the past few months and your patience moving forward. Books are my safe place, and I can’t wait to start sharing them with you again.

© 2018, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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