So Far Away gives us an intimate view of a person interacting with and reacting to her parents at the ends of their lives. In a richly detailed, poignant story of family members’ separate yet interwoven journeys, it underscores the complexities and opportunities that life presents each one of us.
Hartmann writes with grace and intellect and manages to avoid the saccharine expressions of emotions that often surround the stories of deceased loved ones. Instead she faces harsh truths with courage and a sense of realism….Grief is an individual process and dependent on situations, personalities, and relationships, but Hartmann offers personal discoveries that feel universal. Many readers will find familiar themes and emotions. Her book is a gift for anyone struggling to come to terms with death or depression.
—Andi Diehn, ForeWord Reviews (see full review)
Part of the brilliance of So Far Away is that, wrapped up in the exquisitely well-described uniqueness of Hartmann’s story about her parents and herself, are substantial insights about anticipatory grief, grief following a parent’s death or decline, parent-child relationships at the end of life and after parents die, the links of personal grief to marital relationships, what can be accomplished by writing about parents and parent death, depression, and much more.
—Paul C. Rosenblatt, Ph.D., author of four books on families and grief
Hartmann demonstrates considerable courage in sharing her story with the world and her book is a gift to families dealing with the daily challenges of caregiving for their elderly loved ones.
–Francine Conway, in Journal of Women and Aging
An emotionally powerful memoir that beautifully captures the life-changing journeys of her parents’ final years.
—Booth Gardner, Former Governor, State of Washington, and leader of Washington State’s Death with Dignity movement