Sunday, October 9, 2011

Book Review - Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matthew Logelin

Title: Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love
Author: Matthew Logelin
Year: 2011
Page: 238
Genre: Non-Fiction - Memoir

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from

Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. The pair settled together in Los Angeles and they had it all: the perfect marriage, a beautiful new home, and a baby girl on the way. But just twenty-seven hours after they welcomed Madeline into the world, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and instantly died, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited.

Faced with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt coped by returning to the small blog he had created to keep friends and family updated on Liz's pregnancy, which today has become a place for him to share with over a million curious readers the day to day of two lives bound by loss and love. But there is more to his story than just raising a daughter alone: Matt Logelin is an extraordinary human being. Having been sustained through tragedy by the kindness and generosity of strangers, he is now dedicated to helping others in difficult situations by reaching out and inspiring those facing loss or adversity.

A heartwarming and heartbreaking story punctuated by beautifully recollected— and often humorous— memories and anecdotes, TWO KISSES FOR MADDY unquestionably has something to offer any reader who has experienced grief, and has sought the courage to live again.

First Sentence:
I met my future wife, the future mother of my child, at a gas station.

My Thoughts:

  • I first heard about this book from Lovely Little Shelf's post (see her review here). You know I like reading memoir, especially emotional memoir. So this sounded like something I'd have picked to read. I hadn't heard of Matt and Liz before. Hadn't read Matt's blog. So I really had no idea what to expect (apart from knowing the general premise).
  • I read this book about 5 months ago (yes, just got around to reviewing it now, shame on me!) and at that time I didn't take any notes for this book for some reasons (apart from the quote I included at the end of this post - which I do love).  It was difficult for me to rate this book - don't get me wrong, this is a very sad story and I feel for Matt (father) and Maddy (daughter) and their families on losing Liz (wife/mother) - but I didn't cry, which was very surprising to me as I thought I would need a whole box of kleenex. Now, sometimes I wonder if that was because I do not have a child, so I couldn't quite feel the devastation... but I don't really think that is the case since I do have a spouse, and I thought Matt/Liz kinda reminded me of my husband and myself when we were dating, so it was something I could identify with somewhat (thinking of the possibility of losing J made my heart break). Also, I remember reading two other books before - both dealt with the death of their respectively child - I felt distant when I read This Lovely Life by Vicki Forman, but I got really emotional when I read Josie's Story: A Mother's Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe by Sorrel King later. So I really don't think it was the topic, but rather than writing.
  • Now, I did feel some of Matt's emotion, and he wasn't shy to share exactly what went through his mind (quite a few F words were used) so I could feel his despair, but it just didn't quite touch my crying nerve... And yes, I don't just judge a book by its cover, but I judge how emotional I feel too. I tend to score books higher if they make me cry... it must have something to do with those psychology lessons I had learned back in college - we might not remember the details of an event (e.g. what we fight about) but remember how we feel (e.g. hurt). 
  • Speaking of the cover, I do really like it. Being a photographer, I like the non-posed style of portraits. Though I wish the book title wasn't smack right in the middle which distracted from the image, especially since it covered the part where Matt's hands were holding Maddy. Hands are expressive! I like that the title was in a white circle and I like the font, but just didn't like the placement. As you can see, I have a strong opinion when it comes to photography and cover design :) Call it occupational hazard. The title is also very fitting, and tied in with the story very well. 
  • I haven't googled lately to see how Matt and Maddy are doing (I did look it up after I finished the book, and they seemed to be doing well then.) I wish them all the best. I hope when Maddy is older, she'd read this book and know how much her parents loved each other, and how much they loved her. And that despite the tragedy, Matt tried to help others in need as well, which is admirable.

Together during the worst of times is better than being alone at the best of times. (p18)

Overall Rating:

3.5 Stars. Sad but inspiring. Though I didn't get as emotional as other boos I'd read on similar topics.

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  1. I have been wanting to read this book.

  2. That quote is so true and lovely.

    I could never write a review months later, lol, there is no way I could remember enough details so well done.

    I enjoyed your current read - No Time for Goodbye, my first book by him, his newest The Accident was good too, hope your enjoying.

  3. How incredibly sad. Something similar happened to a man I worked with about a year and a half ago. His wife went in to have their second child and suddenly died. She never had the chance to meet their son. It was heartbreaking and scary,

  4. @Esme - it's worth the read. Would love to hear what you think. Maybe because I have read other sad books (I know some people shy away from them), I was as affected?

    @Marce - I definitely couldn't agree more with that quote! The only reason I could review so many months later is because I take notes when I read... this is also a good testimony to see how much staying power the books have (esp for fiction!) I am really enjoying No Time for Goodbye. I like how fast paced it is (the last couple of books have been slow...) I almost missed my bus stop today when I was reading on the bus!

    @reviewsbylola - How sad for your co-worker :( I was reading this other blog where the wife had a stroke after giving birth and she's now paralyzed and they don't know how much mental capacity she actually has... so now the dad has to take care of both the wife and the kid at home... the mum never met the kid before the stroke :(

  5. Missed your stop, lmao but that says so much for the book. It is nice to get a fast read after a slower one.

  6. @Marce - I totally missed my bus stop when I was reading the Hunger Games! :) I think someone commented that in NY, that's a real testimony of the book if someone misses a subway stop. I am almost done with No Time for Goodbye and I can't wait to finish so hopefully it doesn't disappoint! I can read many fast-paced books in a row, just can't do that with slow-paced ones... I can't read too many murder/mystery in a row though or the characters/plots get all mixed up!

  7. This is on my wish list. He story sounds so compelling.