Love at the Center of Grief is a contemporary The Notebook for grieving
teens who want to believe in the power of love even when faced with
The Fault in Our Stars.
At the tender age of 6, Gretchen Gardener and Hayden Tucker endured the losses of their mothers. For them, Summerfort Grief Center, near Branson, Missouri, offers a place of hope. But as puberty hits, the childhood friends begin to grapple with very different feelings toward each other. Both wonder, can the heart accept love after loss?
Love at the Center of Grief, from Cindy McIntyre, is a compelling coming-of-age story that poignantly captures the realities of teen angst and the magnifying effects of the extraordinary emotional burdens that the two friends carry.
Gretchen, dubbed “Grief Girl” by her classmates, is a mixture of childish maturity, spouting off unique words and Constitutional factoids. Neither of these talents, however, solves her obsessive behavior: she hoards odd memories.
“Hardly Speaks” Hayden proudly sports a Summerfort Eagles high school football jersey, but not everyone on the team accepts this robust loner with a sensitive nature.
Forever bonded by their shared loss, Gretchen and Hayden must navigate adolescence while processing the shifting nature of their hormones and grief — with widowed dads in tow. Both Gretchen and Hayden write stories to their mothers in their grief journals, and it’s through their candid entries that secret thoughts and raw emotions are revealed.
McIntyre used her own experiences as a grief counselor to inform an honest narrative that delivers a balance of heartache and laughter, plus believable characters worth cheering for in the quirky little town of Summerfort, Missouri.
Love at the Center of Grief is a great read for those who are fans of Julie Buxbaum’s Tell Me Three Things and Kathleen Glasgow’s How to Make Friends with the Dark.
Cindy McIntyre, author of Eulogies Unspoken: Stories of Worth and Caring for Dad: With Love and Tomatoes, has served as a secondary at-risk teacher in Missouri for 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in human services, with an emphasis in education. After the loss of her parents, McIntyre set out to help others as a volunteer facilitator at the Lost & Found Grief Center in Springfield. Originally from Earlville, Illinois, she now calls Missouri her home.
Love at the Center of Grief
Publisher: Angel Pin Publishing
Available from Amazon.com
Cindy McIntyre lost her mother at the age of twenty-nine. Grief overwhelmed her, and she discovered writing, “Dear Mom” letters had a profound healing effect. That pain turned into her first book, Eulogies Unspoken: Stories of Worth. Her book takes readers on a journey through grief, faith, and the celebration of overcoming adversity. Along the way, she learned so much about her parents. In the end, she learned even more about herself–perhaps angels appear to grant miracles of faith!
Cindy continues to use her background in psychology, education, caregiving, and grief in her writing, and as a way to help others. She currently volunteers as a group facilitator at a grief center. She’s been an at-risk secondary teacher for over twenty years.