Loss, grief, revival

Two Kisses for Maddy - Contributed photo
Two Kisses for Maddy
— image credit: Contributed photo

Two bestselling authors, Matthew Logelin and Claire Bidwell Smith, will sign their books and talk about their lives, their losses and their memoirs at Griffin Bay Bookstore at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17.

Two Kisses for MaddyMatthew Logelin’s memoir is “Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love.”

Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. After years of long-distance dating, the pair settled together in Los Angeles, and thought they had it all: a perfect marriage, a gorgeous new home, and a baby girl on the way. Liz’s pregnancy was rocky, but they welcomed Madeline, beautiful and healthy, into the world on March 24, 2008. Just twenty-seven hours later, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited.

Though confronted with grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt moved forward, to make a life for Maddy and himself without Liz. Matt shares bittersweet and sometimes humorous anecdotes of his courtship and marriage to Liz; of relying on his newborn daughter for the support that she unknowingly provided; and of an extraordinary online community of strangers who became his friends. In honoring Liz’s legacy, heartache became solace.
Matthew Logelin

Two Kisses for Maddy won a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Memoir & Autobiography in 2011; it has been translated into four languages. Matt has been featured on Oprah, the CBS Morning Show and the Rachael Ray Show. His blog, “Matt, Liz, & Madeline,” has many followers.

Matt and family live in Los Angeles but travel often to see as much of the world as possible.

Claire Bidwell Smith“The Rules of Inheritance” is Claire Bidwell Smith’s exploration of her own life and her response to the death of her parents when she was a young woman.

The book is a coming-of-age account reminiscent of works by Cheryl Strayed, Jeanette Walls, and Mary Karr. The author, an only child, was fourteen when both parents were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other.

The Rules of InheritanceA “transportive memoir,” it uses Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ five stages of grief as a window into the author’s experiences. The result is a powerful and engaging journey that is at once heartbreaking and uplifting. after her parents’ deaths, the author quits college, travels to Europe, works at high-profile literary jobs, falls in and out of love with an abusive alcoholic, learns how to drink, and then tries to unlearn how to drink. All the while, she searches for normalcy in a turbulent twenty-something world. Claire’s writing renders the personal, universal.

Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters, calls the book, “Gorgeously written, compulsively readable, and heartbreakingly true. The Rules of Inheritance is a small masterpiece of honesty. Anyone who’s lost a parent will find themselves in this story. I couldn’t stop reading it, and was sorry when it had to end.”

Claire Bidwell Smith lives in Los Angeles. She is a therapist specializing in grief and is well-versed at speaking on the subject of grief from both personal and professional expertise.


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