When All That’s Left of Me Is Love

A Daughter’s Story of Letting Go

by Linda Campanella

(Tate Publishing, $17.99, 232 pages) 

Who is this author?

Linda Campanella lives in West Hartford and is  a management consultant to nonprofit organizations. She also has been a corporate executive, a college administrator, and a trade negotiator.

Now, she says, you can add “ accidental author” to her resume.

Devastated when her mother, Nancy Sachsse of Enfield, was diagnosed with terminal cancer (and died almost exactly one year later at age 74 in 2009), Campanella began writing this memoir.

“Chapters poured out of me at all hours of the day and night, flowing directly from a broken heart to a blank page,” she has said about how the book came to be.

What is this book about?

It is a loving daughter’s tribute to her mother that recounts the last year of her life, but also tells about happier times, and it is also a celebration of the bond that lucky mothers and daughters share. It makes the case that it is possible to enjoy and celebrate life even in the face of certain and imminent death.

Why you’ll like it:

Here is what Campanella says about her book, which should appeal to anyone who has lost a beloved family member. And that, sadly, is just about all of us.

“Ultimately, despite the sad topic and the heavy heart with which I wrote, “When All That’s Left of Me Is Love” is an uplifting, hopeful, affirming book.  It is about anguish, death, tears, and grief, but more than that the story is about love, faith, family, courage and gratitude. It’s about coming home to live rather than coming home to die, learning to cry, letting go, holding on, connecting, believing in what is possible, resolving to stay in the moment, making magic.  It is not a how-to guide but rather is a loving tribute and an intensely personal memoir that may contain insights and inspirations that prove helpful to others who face death – either their own or their mother’s or that of any loved one.   It also is an affirmation of the special bond between mothers and daughters, a touching love story, a spiritual journey, a poetry lesson, even a case for happy hour.  It will, I hope and believe, move and inspire not only those who face or fear death but also those who love and embrace life.”

What others are saying:

“This book is truly a testament of love, as the title suggests. It is about love refined and deepened by grief and gratitude. It is a tribute to a mother who loved with her last breath and beyond. It is the story of a daughter who gives herself away through the gift of her pen,” says  Sharon G. Thornton, professor of Pastoral Theology at Andover Newton Theological School.

“A story of tragedy and what value we can extract from it,” When All That’s Left of Me is Love” is an excellent pick, very much recommended for anyone facing their own life’s tragedies.” says Midwest Book Review

“Sentimental, but not soppy, sad, yet incredibly filled with joy, and above all filled with dignity and strength, “When All That’s Left of Me Is Love is an unforgettable book.” says Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson in Reader Views.

When is it available?

This book is now available at the Hartford Public Library.

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