Signs of Life: A Memoir

Natalie Taylor

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Signs of Life: A Memoir

Signs of Life A Memoir I know I know No one says it but I know from Signs of Life Twenty four year old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life At the age of twenty four she had a fulfilling job as a high school English t

  • Title: Signs of Life: A Memoir
  • Author: Natalie Taylor
  • ISBN: 9780307717498
  • Page: 437
  • Format: Hardcover
  • I know I know No one says it but I know from Signs of Life Twenty four year old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life At the age of twenty four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident Four months I know I know No one says it but I know from Signs of Life Twenty four year old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life At the age of twenty four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident Four months before the birth of her son, Natalie is leveled by loss What follows is an incredibly powerful emotional journey, as Natalie calls upon resources she didn t even know she had in order to re imagine and re build a life for her and her son In vivid and immediate detail, Natalie documents her life from the day of Josh s death through the birth their son, Kai, as she struggles in her role as a new mother where everyone is watching her for signs of impending collapse With honesty, raw pain, and most surprising, a wicked sense of humor, Natalie recounts the agonies and unexpected joys of her new life There is the frustration of holidays, navigating the relationship with her in laws, the comfort she finds and unlikely friendship she forges in support groups and the utterly breathtaking, but often overwhelming new motherhood When she returns to the classroom, she finds that little is healing than the honesty and egocentricity of teenagers Drawing on lessons from beloved books like The Color Purple and The Catcher in the Rye and the talk shows she suddenly can t get enough of, from the strength of her family and friends, and from a rich fantasy life including a saucy fairy godmother who guides her grieving Natalie embarks on the ultimate journey of self discovery and realizes you can sometimes find the best in yourself during the worst life has to offer And she delivers these lessons, in way that feels like she s right beside you in her bathrobe and with a glass of wine the cool, funny girlfriend you love to stay up all night with Unforgettable and utterly absorbing, Signs of Life features a powerful, wholly original debut voice that will have you crying and laughing to the very last page.

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      Posted by:Natalie Taylor
      Published :2019-02-02T13:42:22+00:00

    One thought on “Signs of Life: A Memoir

    1. drazz on said:

      I was a student in her 11-1 Honors English Class at BHS in 2008-2009, & I can say I had no clue what was going on in Mrs Taylor's world. I originally read it to see if I recognized the students / to hear what exactly happened (I heard rumors, I wasn't even 100% certain that her husband had actually passed away)riously. Wow. It's like sitting down and talking to her. It's so honest, each page cut me to the bone. I usually have something negative or critical to say about the things I've read. [...]

    2. J on said:

      Local book. Seemed to be getting decent reviews disappointing. I suspect the good reviews were all friends and family who were guilted into supporting her out of sympathy.I'm sorry her husband died, but this woman is not an author. She does not display any writing talent and does not succeed in making me care about her - despite her obvious tragic tale. In fact, I loathed her by the time this book was done. She behaved like a teenager in the worst sense with an annoying overuse of nicknames and [...]

    3. Kristy on said:

      Signs Of Life's cover states: "Sit down with this book. See if you can stop at page 1." Well, the beginning was pretty good. But after a while it just gets repetitive. No, I didn't stop but I wanted to. I was really hoping it would get better. Actually, her best chapter was her last. It was the most uplifting part of the whole book. Natalie never gives any real insight into her husband except he was basically the best person ever! And although I do feel for her I felt like she was just so stuck [...]

    4. Megan on said:

      I understand that this is written like a dairy and there was minimal editing, meaning that how she felt and what she wrote at the time is what was published. I almost feel guilty saying that I hated this book, but I really disliked it. It starts off very interesting but that wanes after the first chapter to the point where I did not even want to finish the book, but had to force myself to get to the last page.Natalie seems like an awful person. I understand that her husband has unexpectedly died [...]

    5. Ciara on said:

      so, this is a year & a half in the life of a woman whose husband unexpectedly died in a freak skateboarding accident while she was four months pregnant with their first child. i mean, how can i mark something like that down on stars? that would be one of my all-time worst nightmarese book opens with natalie getting the news about her husband's death while she is vacationing in florida with her family. they all rush back to michigan, where they agree to suspend life support & donate josh' [...]

    6. Jackie W. on said:

      A. MAZ. ING. I love this book. I love Natalie Taylor. I wish I could meet her and thank her for being so brave to write a book about something so horrible. I want to thank her for sharing her tears with me. I don't want to tell her things will be okay, because they won't. But I want to tell her that I will remember her husband, Josh, forever. And that seems important, because people can be forever if someone remembers them.I am floored every time I realize that Natalie and I are the same age. Sh [...]

    7. Liz on said:

      I probably spent half the book fighting back or wiping my tears and the author has a conversational writing style, so it's more like you're talking to her than reading her book. I found this book especially readable as the author is young, speaks frankly and writes openly. I do NOT recommend this book for someone looking for help coping with grief. The author handled her grief in a very specific way which I don't think most people would, and this is not a "self-help" book. Keep in mind, the auth [...]

    8. Tammy on said:

      I won this book from . (It was a Fist Read giveaway.) I was really excited & couldn't wait to read it! I am a big fan of memoirs. The book is written by Natalie Taylor. Natalie is a 24 year old H.S. English teacher who loses her husband Josh in a tragic accident. The young couple had only been married 18 months when Josh passed away. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that Natalie was 5 months pregnant with their first child, a son. I really liked the book in the beginning. I had a lot of c [...]

    9. Hanna on said:

      First published on Booking in Heels.This is Natalie Taylor's story. It starts the day her husband dies and ends sixteen months later on their son's first birthday.Natalie's journey from wife to widow to mother is heartbreaking, blackly funny and will move you to laughter and tears as she makes it across that finish line. And you have no doubt she will make it because Natalie is a warrior and a woman to cheer for. I can't help but cringe as I type out that summary. It's just awful. Although it's [...]

    10. Emily on said:

      This was extremely difficult to read, but it was one of the most amazing and important books that I've ever read. Death is a subject not many of us like to discuss because it is painful to admit that we have no control over our own, or our loved ones' passings. Death is final and is full of the unknown, which makes us fear it and seek to do everything in our power to avoid it. Isn't that why we look both ways before crossing the street, exercise regularly, eat our fruits and veggies, and basical [...]

    11. Jamie Kline on said:

      For more of my reviews, please be sure to visit my book review blog, BookerellaI received this book free through Shelf Awareness (big thanks go out to them, the publisher, and the author!!). In this memoir we meet Natalie who, at the young age of 24, has lost her husband of 1 1/2 years, Josh, to a tragic accident. Her life has been completely flipped upside down and she feels like she can't do anything without him. With a baby on the way, she knows she needs to get it together, but after Josh's [...]

    12. Realitytrucks on said:

      I read this as part of a kick I was on for grief/widow's Memoirs (Joyce Carol Oates, Sally Ryder Brady, Joan Didion, etc) The other women were older, and all were Writers. Taylor is an English teacher (the texts she's teaching become a laborious device -- she had a dream of a different life AND so did Gatsby).This author was a 20-something pregnant Mom-to-be when her husband died in a freak carveboarding accident (like skateboarding? But more Xtreme?) Except, how Freakish is an accident when so [...]

    13. Alicia on said:

      Firstly, for those of you who claim that the book is too depressing, I have to wonder what you expected. This book reads a lot like the journal of a young woman who is navigating her ways through grief, rather than just a memoir. She is at times, whiny, ungrateful, entitled, but I think it is owed to her I think it is a great testament to her strength that she openly admits that she is pissed off, frustrated with her relatives, and deserving of more. The way the author ties in classic literature [...]

    14. Jodi on said:

      I rolled my eyes when I saw the quote by Elizabeth Berg on the cover about seeing if you could stop after one page. I thought yeah right, but that was exactly what happened. I absolutely loved the raw honesty in this book. very quickly I realize Natalies husband would be very close to my age so that sucked me in a bit. in some ways to I did connect to her feelings of grief. I'm not a widow but I went thru a divorce at 26 so there was still a sense of loss and also the feeling of no one else my a [...]

    15. Jamie on said:

      In the beginning of this book Natalie makes a note that this book is from her diaries and were her actual thoughts at the time and at times do not reflect well on her. This book has a lot of real emotion and at times is very raw. I would recommend this book to others. I felt like I was with her on this journey. She often says talks about the radio shows she listens to and the books that she is reading and relating to these people (or feeling that they are her friends)-this is how I felt througho [...]

    16. Libby on said:

      at the beginning i enjoyed this book, but after a while, it became kind of one dimensional. She never had any insight into her marriage and her dead husband, expect for the perfectness of it and him, and after she gave away her dogs, i kind of lost sympathy for her.

    17. Anne (Angel Anne Reviews) Nelson on said:

      Signs of Life: Natalie TaylorI actually won Signs of Life on as a first-reads giveaway. Many thanks to Natalie Taylor for the opportunity to read your novel/memoir. :-)Twenty-four year old Natalie lived a charmed and beautiful life; a very fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful loving husband, Josh, a new home, plus a new baby on it's way.This wonderful new life came crushing down around Natalie when she was on vacationing in Florida with family (but not Josh) receiving th [...]

    18. Diane on said:

      This is a memoir of Natalie Taylor's year of grief after the death of her 27 year old husband. Joshua Taylor was carveboarding without a helmet when he hit his head and died almost instantly. Twenty-four year old Natalie was pregnant with their first child. The book is based on her journal entries in the year or so after Josh's death. The exploration of grief and growth can be a fascinating and painful subject. (No one does it better than Joan Didion) Perhaps it was Taylor's age, perhaps it was [...]

    19. Michelle on said:

      I'd describe this aswell, edgy chick-lit I guess. It's definitely a woman's book, it deals with feelings, emotions, relationships and children. But it is edgy in that it's modern, there's language that normal people use and Natalie has a distinctive way of writing. Plus it's warts and all. Some reviews of this book in Good Reads have criticised her whining and ungratefullness towards her family and in-laws, but I enjoyed that - that's real, to have a love/hate, appreciation but resentment toward [...]

    20. Angela Risner on said:

      Natalie Taylor, 24 and 5 months pregnant, is awakened by a phone call that her husband has had an accident while Carveboarding. Though no one tells her at that moment, she knows that her life has changed forever.Natalie takes us with her on her journey into life as a young widow and new mother. At her age, she had never questioned that her husband, Josh, would be by her side for many years to come. Now she must learn to navigate her life as a single mother.All of this may sound like the book sho [...]

    21. Milissa on said:

      Loved this book. An honest look at grief. I was surprised by the criticisms in the negative reviews. Yes, there were moments of immaturitybut the author was in the midst of major grief, only 24, and pregnant. By the end of the book, there were many new insights and a deeper understanding of other loved ones' grief. Grief is not rational or thoughtful or insightful. It is miserably painful. People become more compassionate and insightful after experiencing griefbut in the moment, it can be diffic [...]

    22. Nancy on said:

      At times it was really hard to like Natalie, but since this was written from her journal while she was in midst of the events, it does read as an honest account of what she was feeling. At one point, she mentions that she didn't verbalize these feelings to others; it was purely an internal dialogue. When she brought the books her classes were reading into the story, it actually made me want to re-read (or read) some of these books. While her language sometimes seemed over the top, I identified w [...]

    23. Becky Roper on said:

      Awesome book! This is a memoir written about a young wife whose husband dies suddenly while she is pregnant with their first child. The first part of the book was pretty slow as she described in excruciating detail her grief experience. However, as things move along it keeps getting better. The last half of the book was great as long as you can get past her frequent use of the "f" word. She returns to teaching high school literature and her insights into the books she has her students reading we [...]

    24. Courtney on said:

      DELICIOUS! I couldn't put this book down. When I first opened it I didn't close until somewhere after the 100 page mark. On the first page you find a happily married 24 year old who is 4 months pregnant that finds out her 27 year old husband has just died in a sporting accident. The story is amazingly well written. The author is a high English teacher and as the months pass she draws on the works she is teaching in her class to illustrate a relevant discovery about her own life which both increa [...]

    25. Traci on said:

      I give it two stars because it *should* have been a great story. It's a memoir and the storyline could be good. However, there were so many spelling and grammar erros, it made it very tough for me to get through it without wanting to highlight errors and return it to the author (or editor). I felt that character development was lacking and thus I really didn't care about anybody in the book. After reading the back of the book, I really wanted to like this. I am glad I didn't spend money on this [...]

    26. Allison Shell on said:

      **I've finished this book. I do not recommend it. By the end of the book, every little thing about this woman irritated me. The only passages that I truly enjoyed were the stories about her students. **I am 3/4 of the way through, and am really not liking this book. Feels like she threw in a lot of filler to make the book longer. Not her fault, but it reads young and bratty.

    27. Doingitwritenow on said:

      Disclaimer: I have never been in this woman's shoes so I cannot say how I may have felt or what I may have written in my own journals. But let me start by saying that I wanted to like this book. And I wanted to feel more than I felt for Natalie. As it were, I did feel awful for what happened to her husband, Josh, and the hole it created in her and her son Kai's life. But as a person, I had a little trouble drumming up much sympathy. I am sure that she could care less about little old me, as she [...]

    28. Ami on said:

      I finished this a while ago, but I couldn't think of a good write-up--not sure why. It's an okay read, and interesting how Taylor ties each chapter/month in with a literary work. The thing that got me is how absolutelywhite middle-class suburban woman NORMAL she is, or at least, the way I imagine them to be. Maybe she's better off than normal, I don't know. She's thin, blonde-haired, blue-eyed. She was crazy about her well-liked, athletic husband, whom she met in college and married shortly ther [...]

    29. Albion College on said:

      "It took me one day and most of an evening to read Signs of Life, the 2011 memoir by Albion College alum Natalie Taylor. It is that good. Natalie’s story is heartbreaking, courageous, and at times, laugh-out-loud hilarious.It’s also true. Natalie was a student of mine, a person I could never forget. Now she’s maybe the best high school English teacher ever, my current students from Berkley High School tell me. I believe it. Signs of Life is Natalie’s story of how she lived through the te [...]

    30. Lyndsay on said:

      I want to meet Natalie, give her a hug and thank her for sharing her story. It couldn't have been easy to allow people to see inside her thoughts as she grieved the loss of her husband. It really bothers me that other reviewers are calling her selfish, entitled, etc. This book is about her grief and her life. Of course it's not going to delve into anyone else's grief. This was written from her journal she kept after her husband died. Of course she's going to be selfish. She is consumed with grie [...]

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