This book on an end of life story is well- written and carefully crafted to give reassurance to those of us still living that our loved ones who transition to death can do so with reconciliation to life’s regrets and with a sense of satisfaction of a life’s journey that continues to the next stage. The magical setting enhances the mysterious telling of the tale: the cloudy, very darkness and fog combine with the sounds of the mast lines chiming to create an atmosphere that could allow for this old man’s experience to be a dream or reality. The use of the Voice in the fog allows the old man to both reaffirm the importance and lasting power of love and to be at peace with losses he has experienced. Illustrations also highlight and reflect the text, with their eerie quality and dreamlike landscapes.
One cannot misinterpret the overall theme and importance of “Just love.” It is echoed throughout the book in the old man’s conversations and thoughts, and is incorporated in the old man’s brief conversation with his wife. I find this very reassuring, as I think we all would like to think that our love for others lives on after we and they die, and that they will be there to guide us to the next stage when we leave this world and these shells behind. I think this book and its story of end of life works on several levels: as a child’s book about how end of life might be for a beloved grandfather; as an adult book for those nearing the end of life; as a book for all levels on how we might best assist others as they transition to life after this world.
Kudos to the author for tackling what is often a taboo subject, and yet one that affects all of us on an intimate level. The simple story, told in lyrical language that evokes the sights, smells, and sounds of the ocean, is a welcome addition to this field. The accompanying CD is also well acted; with all characters easily identified, and the use of the background ocean and harbor sounds enhance the telling of the story. The music is amazing!
Thank you for the opportunity to read this story and to listen to the CD and to give a few comments.