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The First Signs of April

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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Wounds fester and spread in the darkness of silence. The First Signs of April, explores the destructive patterns of unresolved grief and the importance of connection for true healing to occur. The narrative weaves through time to explore grief reactions to two very different losses: suicide and cancer.
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Published September 5th 2017 by She Writes Press
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Ellen Pilch
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, but that doesn't influence my opinion. I thought this was an excellent book. The author jumps from her teen years in the early 1980's as she is discovering that she is gay to the year 2000 when she is helping her dying aunt.
During both these time periods, she suffers a major loss, but doesn't fully grieve for either. Eventually she does grieve and it helps her move on to a career that helps others going through grief. I found this book easy to read and i
...more
Debra Smouse
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Life, Love, Grief, and the Journey to Self-Love

Managing the slippery slop of adolescence and also coming out as being gay is challenging enough, yet to lose your best friend and need to traverse through the journey of grief is more than most can bear. The experiences and memories of Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe are then skillfully explores dealing with loss again twenty years in the future as she helps her aunt manage her last days after a cancer diagnosis.

All heavy topics, yet underneath it all is th
...more
Nadine
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable read about self awareness, growth, loss, and the eventual triumph of love. Every page holds glorious details as the story unfolds. The author shares her adolescent struggles in recognizing her sexual preferences, a confusing first love and the sadness of suicide and loss. This story parallels her recounting of the care she gave a beloved aunt as she confronts another death from cancer. Her story will touch everyone and give hope and assurances to all of us on our own life journey. I ...more
Donna Chadwick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing story about strength. We all doubt who we are at one time or another and this was a great example of accepting who we are. Gives you lots to think about.
Melissa
I love memoirs, because I love to peek into other people’s lives, but I often feel weird reviewing them, because in a way, reviewing a memoir is like passing judgement on the writer’s life, rather than just their book.

In this case, I didn’t have that problem, because Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe’s memoir The First Signs of April, is so well written it feels like reading a novel. Her descriptions are vivid and realistic – I felt like I was on her motorcycle with her, or walking her dog, or any number o
...more
Angie
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Originally posted @ Readaholic Zone

Do you read memoirs? No! Well, as a reader of multitudes of memoirs, you definitely can put this on your TBR list since it reads like fiction due to its remarkable writing. To begin with, the book is set-up so that it goes back and forth from 1981 when she was in high school and the year 2000 the summer after finishing her doctorate with a nice flow. It effortlessly held my attention till the end.

Generally speaking, even though it is comprised of oodles of sor
...more
Cynthia Doolittle
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The First Signs of April is a beautiful title for the telling of a personal tragedy. It's a journey of self-discovery woven through a touch fabric of a tumultuous high school experience. Ms. Briscoe deals with the incredibly difficult subject matter, and she artfully lightens and balances it with rich symbolism from nature, redemption, and the life she pushes forward like a train, or a motorcycle. I couldn't put it down, both readings.
Cynthia C. Doolittle, Kennebunk, ME

Mary Jo Doig
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Imagine you are an adolescent struggling to understand your emerging sexuality along with forging a new life in a new community. This is exactly where we meet Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe. Her parents have just downsized from urban to suburban and, in that process, Briscoe has lost everything familiar. Most importantly, her longtime friends.

In her new school, she first meets Kathy, who is "kind enough to talk to" her. Then Joy, a fragile classmate who is often invisible behind the long dark hair that
...more
Jessica Aiken-Hall
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was unable to put this book down, and when I did it was calling for me to pick it back up. This is a beautifully written story of love and loss, and finding the strength to continue on. Briscoe does a remarkable job of bringing the pages alive, I felt like I was watching a movie. As she weaves through time it is easy to follow her memories and feel her pain. If you have ever lost someone you love, this book will help you understand you are not alone.
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