Friday, July 25, 2008

Room for Two by Abel Keogh

"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away.



A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall.

Everything slowed down.

When a life is destroyed, when guilt says you played a role in its destruction, how do you face the days ahead?

Twenty-six-year-old Abel Keogh chooses to ignore the promptings he receives concerning his wife's mental illness, and now he feels he is to blame for her choices. If only he had listened . . .

At some point in our lives, each of us face devastating afflictions and must eventually cope with loss. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome is still the same—we are left isolated, alone, wondering what we could have done differently, and where we can turn for peace.

This is Abel's story in his own words. His search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.
When I was asked to review Room for Two by Abel Keogh, I had no idea what it was about. I just knew it had a pretty cover. When it arrived and I read the back liner, I was a little sorry I'd agreed to do the review so quickly. I have to be in a certain mood to read this type of book—and I wasn't in the mood. I didn't want to read something sad. I didn't want serious. I wanted to read the stack of fun fantasy sitting on my dresser. But I'd agreed to do it, so. . .

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. The first chapter is the hardest because it deals with the actual suicide of Abel's wife. There's also a very sad part about his daughter, Hope. But the rest of the book, although it deals with the difficulty of going on after you've lost a spouse, was very positive and uplifting.

Abel Keogh is a captivating writer. I felt like I was right there with him as he struggled to come to terms with his wife's suicide and learned to deal with the grief and guilt. I ran beside him as he learned to heal and to love again. When I finished the book, I felt really good about it. I felt uplifted.

We all have difficult times in our lives, and I think we help each other by sharing our stories and our struggles, our strength and hope and recovery. I'm glad I read this book and I recommend it to anyone who loves someone who is in the middle of a struggle with depression or loss.

I think the message of the book can be summed up with this statement: "Personal and spiritual development doesn't come when life is good and unchallenging. It's the hard times—the ones when we are forced to wake up every day and put one foot in front of the other—where the real growth occurs." (p 208)

Click here to learn more about Abel Keogh and to read the first chapter of Room for Two.


Tristi Pinkston said...

I was pleasantly surprised by this book too, and appreciated how Abel didn't try to make himself sound like the wronged hero but rather, admitted his failings and learned from them.

Dan and Wendy said...

It sounds like a very intriguing book. Thanks for the post.

abel said...


Most people feel the same way you did when they first hear about the book -- they don't want to jump into a heavy subject.

The biggest challenge is letting people know what a positive and uplifting book it is.

Thanks for your honest review of the book.


Cindy Beck said...

Thanks for the review. I've read the book and it's always interesting to see what someone else thinks about it.

I agree with you. The first chapter was sad, but the book was really interesting ... I finished it quickly because Abel kept my interest high through out.

Also, thanks for visiting "Not the Colonel's Chicken, Part II" and commenting. Glad you got a laugh out of it. :)