Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love

Rate this book
Matt Logelin writes a courageous and searingly honest memoir about the first year of his life following the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife.

Matt and Liz Logelin were high school sweethearts. After years of long-distance dating, the pair finally settled together in Los Angeles, and they had it a perfect marriage, a gorgeous new home, and a baby girl on the way. Liz's pregnancy was rocky, but they welcomed Madeline, beautiful and healthy, into the world. Just twenty-seven hours later, Liz suffered a pulmonary embolism and died instantly, without ever holding the daughter whose arrival she had so eagerly awaited.

Though confronted with devastating grief and the responsibilities of a new and single father, Matt did not surrender to devastation; he chose to keep moving forward-to make a life for Maddy.

In this memoir, Matt shares bittersweet and often humorous anecdotes of his courtship and marriage to Liz; of relying on his newborn daughter for the support that she unknowingly provided; and of the extraordinary online community of strangers who have become his friends. In honoring Liz's legacy, heartache has become solace.

272 pages, Hardcover

First published April 14, 2011

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Matthew Logelin

4 books571 followers
Born and bred in Minnesota, Matt Logelin was a project manager at Yahoo! until he left the company to focus on writing this book and raising his daughter, Madeline. The two live in Los Angeles, traveling often to see as much of the world as possible. Please visit them at www.mattlogelin.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,257 (38%)
4 stars
2,911 (34%)
3 stars
1,743 (20%)
2 stars
456 (5%)
1 star
156 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,154 reviews
Profile Image for Doreen.
2,449 reviews60 followers
August 28, 2011
A terrible thing happened to Matt Logelin: his beloved wife died the day after their only child was born, 7 weeks prematurely. As he struggled to put his life back together and raise a baby on his own, he set up a non-profit foundation to help other men and women who found themselves in a similar situation. In the process, he grew somewhat as a person.

Hopefully, that precis will save you from having to read the actual book. Proceeds from its sale go to the non-profit mentioned above, but seriously, just look up the Liz Logelin Foundation and write them a check instead (it's a worthy cause.) He also has a blog with a devoted following, so that might be worth perusing, as well. But please don't bother reading this book otherwise, because it is terrible and made me never want to visit his blog or, to be honest, have anything to do with him ever.

The main complaint from other reviewers who've given this book low ratings is that he swears too much. I, too, have a potty mouth, so mere swearing doesn't bother me, but he uses the same words all the time and unimaginatively. Constantly using "fucking" as an adjective just grates, and loses any power of emphasis when he uses it to describe how much his wife's death sucks shortly after also using it to describe how awful the generic music played at the funeral parlor is (pro tip for those at home: doing this yourself makes it sound like you think they suck equally, which makes you a douchebag.) Granted, this is probably where a good editor would have stepped in, but after the slew of books I've read lately, I'm sincerely starting to believe that those are few and far between these days.

But that wasn't why I think this book is terrible, even if the writing is uniformly disjointed and subpar. My main problem with this book is that the author is a pretentious hipster snot. After his wife's death, he grieved, and I felt sincerely bad for him, but his insistence on "not being lame" when out and about with his kid made me want to shake him. Being a parent isn't about being cool, asshole. I respected a lot of what he had to say about the different processes of grieving: unfortunately, this book dwells too much on how badly he perceived some people to be behaving towards him and made me want to tell him to get over himself. He's got a good heart, as evidenced by the way he treated the hospital staff, but he's also unnecessarily spiteful and judgmental, as clearly shown by his visit to the Social Security office.

I was also appalled that he habitually interspersed the text with "meaningful" song lyrics: emotionally and intellectually, he would have been better off copying out greeting card verses. What bothered me the most, though, was how woefully immature he was at the age of 30, until adulthood was thrust upon him with the sudden status of parent and widower. Before then, he'd been happy to coast on the luck of having an amazing wife who put up with his shit. Seriously, she let him get away with not reading any parenting books or planning to take on any child-rearing responsibilities, not even researching what she and the baby would need post-birthing. And it was pretty clear that not only was she the main breadwinner, but also the one responsible for cleaning the house and doing chores while he mooned over records. As a new mom myself, it made me want to punch him in the face.

So the book gets two stars because he is a terrible writer and even worse poet, and the way he presents himself makes me believe that he's of both stunted intellect and maturity, which do nothing to make reading his book enjoyable. I'm sure he's doing great work with his blog and foundation, which is why the book gets a rating as high as it does, but I would never recommend this book to anyone, because I think the way it's written detracts very much from the legacy of Liz's life otherwise.

ETA: My best friend and I were discussing the book and he succinctly summed it up thusly, "My wife died, and my taste in music is still better than yours." Sad but true.

I received this book gratis as part of ELLE Magazine's ELLEs Lettres Jurors' Prize program.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 12 books2,519 followers
September 25, 2010
In a remarkable coincidence, Matthew Logelin and I each lost a young wife, were left with a daughter named Madeline, and wrote a book about the experience. He and I are very different people but we both came to some very similar conclusions.
Profile Image for Tamara Taylor.
431 reviews15 followers
January 12, 2012
I made the mistake of browsing through some of this book's GD reviews prior to reading it. A few readers said they felt that Matt was a snobby hipster douchebag. I wish that I hadn't peeked at those reviews as they coloured my perception of the author before I gave this book a chance (shame on me!) I did press on though, and I am glad I did. I came to the conclusion that the author is not in fact a hipster douchebag. He is a brutally, painfully honest real person. This book is the most accurate, honest and painfully raw accounts of grief I've ever read. He was angry, bitter, devastated, broken, overwhelmed and unprepared to face single parenthood alone for the first time only 27 hours after his daughter's birth. He could have written a frou-frou account of how he was a saintly martyr navigating unchartered territory without his perfect woman. But he doesn't. He swears (a lot). He rants. He raves. He is bitter at how those around him try to console him, or pretend nothing happened at all. He feels his in-laws don't grieve properly. He is a real person, with real emotions. He doesn't put his wife on a pedestal either. He portrays her as a real person - someone with hopes, dreams, a big smile, but also a potty mouth, a bossy side and bitchy days. Anyone who has gone through a loss will appreciate the brutal honesty of the author's first painful year as a father and widow, learning how to do both as once, yet not wanting one role to define the other.

The last chapter is a letter to his (then) 3 year old daughter. I didn't cry through the entire bloody ordeal of his wife dying, but I was all tears when it came down to him describing his love to his daughter and how he would give anything to have his wife back, except for her.

I conclude that the naysayers of this book fall into the group of people who think there is one right way to grieve, and the author's means of survival do not meet their ideals of "acceptable grieving methods".
Profile Image for Reighnie.
79 reviews4 followers
February 12, 2012
I did not read the entire book. Although I can sympathize with the situation, I don't think this should be a book. I could not force myself to read the rest of it. That is all I will say because I feel the situation itself makes it hard to say anything that could be perceived as negative after the suffering this family has endured. Although, maybe that's exactly how this book ended up published...nobody wanted to hurt anyone's feelings.
Profile Image for Erin Samiloglu.
Author 4 books4 followers
September 27, 2013
Here's a truth: we all have a story in us. Here's another truth: everyone, at some point in their lives, experiences the death of a loved one.Now, here's a myth: everyone's story about the death of a loved one deserves to be published and read by the masses.
I perhaps gave this book more leniency than I should have. Matthew Longelin did, after all, lose his wife one day after his daughter was born. But if death doesn't make martyrs of the dead, surviving doesn't make a douchebag lose his douchebagginess. It's very hard to like this man, who almost brags about Peter Pan Syndrome. (Bitchy opinion: more than once I thought, if his wife had survived, she would have kicked out his lazy/manboy/slacker/useless around the house/pretentious taste in music/non-helpful in any way preparing for the arrival of the baby douchey ass within a year.)
And...okay, the cursing. The cursing, the cursing. There's not a soul on this planet who knows me that doesn't know my mouth is so dirty I spit mud, but for the love of George Carlin, cuss words should be used like seasoning in literature. As a novelist, I can admit with great confidence that I comb my MS thoroughly before publishing to confirm every curse word serves a purpose. I almost don't blame Longelin--this is definitely something his editor should have picked up.
Last but not least, i know nothing about the supporting players in this book other than their relationship with Longelin and sometimes their hair color. This meant the whole book was basically like this "Wife is dead sad sad sad listen to music I'm a great dad wife is dead sad sad oh beer!"
Profile Image for Patricia.
435 reviews
June 1, 2011
**Warning: This author, even though he wrote a book in an "attempt to turn [his] sadness into something beautiful," uses a lot of coarse, vulgar language, and is quite offensive. I do not recommend it for this reason.**

This is the sad, true story of a young man who becomes a widower at the age of 30, the day after his daughter is born seven weeks early. He loved his young, beautiful wife deeply, and he writes about their love story, the birth, her death, and the year of grief and beauty that followed his wife's death from a pulmonary embolism (from more than five weeks of bedrest). The only two things about this guy that are likeable are that he's quite a genuinely loving, social guy; and he loves his daughter and learns to take good care of her. I loved how he pointed out, time after time, that our society finds it very peculiar to see a man taking care of a young baby and a young child. Over and over he was asked, "Where is her (the baby's) mother?" When mother's are out with their babies, people don't really ask "Where is her father?" Because of this terrible event that turned his world upside down, the author is forced to grow up and become an adult, responsible for taking care of the well-being of another. I suppose that is admirable that he recognizes how little he contributed before his wife's death, but dependent men are so unattractive that I never could understand why his wife was with him in the first place. Add his drinking and swearing and it's a complete mystery to me. It is a bittersweet story, but could have been written in a much less offensive way. Perhaps, though, it would not have had his authentic voice then. I don't know...

The best paragraph from this book is found at the bottom of page 143: "Just like people wanted to help me and Maddy, I wanted to help the people around us, and so I passed on what I received to those who needed it more. It became a really important part of what the blog brought to my life, and an important part of my beginning to heal after Liz's death. Concentrating my attention on others allowed me to remove some of the focus from my own situation, and finally I felt less like a victim of my horrible circumstances."
Profile Image for Librariann.
1,440 reviews45 followers
March 20, 2011
Sigh. I feel bad for this family, Matt especially, but this book was just not that great. 1) It's another People magazine/Reader's Digest article that feels blown up into a book, and 2) I know these are real people and not characters, but as people? I don't find them interesting. Even worse, Liz (the dead wife and mother) is the kind of woman that I probably would have disliked in real life. Ugh, and now I've spoken ill of the dead.

If you read Matt's blog at all, the story will pique your interest. If you stopped reading Matt's blog, this book will remind you why.

** edit: If you are here to comment, please read my reply to Robyn, copied below. **

You're right, Robyn. I might have found Liz wonderful and delightful in person. Or, I might not have. The point is, I shouldn't suppose.

What my review SHOULD say is that in the book, Liz is described to possess certain qualities that tend to make me dislike a person in real life. All humans have much more breadth and depth than can be described in a book.

As I said in my review, I know these are people and not characters, but if I had to look at this as a novel? The book failed to make me like or appreciate the characters it should have made me care about. That's what I'm trying to convey with my review, not a disrespect of any person who is out there trying to live their life, or who tragically lost theirs.
Profile Image for Laurie.
56 reviews5 followers
April 25, 2011
I have been following Matt Logelin for over two years, and I was thrilled when I was hooked up with a copy of Two Kisses for Maddy to read before it was released last week. From a literary standpoint, I found the story moving and easy to read if not heart-wrenchingly sad and difficult at times. While I love Matt's blog that is written in mostly in verse, the prose in this book filled in some gaps on a story that I already felt I knew quite well.

From a social, human standpoint, Matt, Liz, and Madeline's story is nothing short of amazing. The Logelins' story has improved me as a parent; I feel like I should give Matt a picture of my daughter as a reminder that at least one little girl has a "better" mother because he has been willing to share his family's journey. The internet following Matt has garnered over the past three years is just one testament to the power of this story; his current ranking on the NYT bestsellers list is one more. Mostly, though, his ability to convey love for his daughter and late wife through words and the sheer dedication it must have taken for him to write a book is staggering. Bravo, Matt! I've been cheering you on for two years, and I will continue to do so.

Thank you for sharing this with the world. It is greatly appreciated.
Profile Image for your mom.
285 reviews20 followers
July 8, 2011
I was very interested to read this book as I have recently been reading about loss of loved ones. I didn't finish this book because of the repeated use of the course language. I am not sure if the author was trying to firmly establish his status as an everyman or what the thinking behind this move was, but the F word was prolifically used throughout the first 50 pages in very odd places. One might understand such harsh language after the point when the author loses his wife, but I did not actually make it that far. Instead the author peppered the text with the F word during seemingly unnatural times as in, "I knew we would be F*ing amazing parents" and "we had a F*ing good time on our vacation".

Unfortunately this really bothered me. In a novel about family and loss I was not expecting to read such a course word more than 10 times in the first 100 pages. And while others might not be bothered by this at all, for me personally, it ruined what might have otherwise been a very powerful book.

Profile Image for Lisa Factora-borchers.
21 reviews1 follower
November 29, 2011
There are so many things one could say about this book. As a 32 year old married mother of a precious toddler, of course this book rang many bells in my head and of course it broke nearly every time Matt wrote about his lost wife. As a human, as a person who loves to feel and wants to be reminded how awesome it is to be in love with the Love of your life, this book spoke to me on different levels. I don't know how it could not.

Matt Logelin openly writes from a place of suffering and as a person sitting in your living room: emotional epiphanies about loss that make you want to lie down and cry into the darkest place of your memory. His writing voice is exactly a voice - you can hear him explain, remember, connect, and suffer.

So, that's Matt and his unforgettable Liz. A beautiful story to learn of, to give witness to, to keep in my thoughts.

And then there's the book. It's a pop culture book - a source of support for specific segment of the population. It's an easy read for all those who want to take the time to understand his perspective on life.

I hesitate to jump with criticism considering the origin of this literary statue he's built for Liz, but there is a lot of privilege this book is written with (which he addresses, somewhat) that sits a bit awkwardly with me. (Annual trips to Mexico, a $200 baby dress, Waldorf Astoria, travel, supportive and generous families, a Yahoo! job that waits for him, time to blog and connect...) These are sidebars to the story, but told in such detail that I couldn't overlook my discomfort with it.

Not every book is conceived in the same way or serve the same purpose for its readers. The writing was alright and at times I wished for more in depth revelation about the world, life, etc. But the meaning of Two Kisses for Maddy comes from love. And it's hard to be critical with that as its backbone.

163 reviews
January 22, 2012
I'm not going to bother to explain what this book was about, there a million reviews. I'm just going to say that I really disliked it. I tried really hard to like Matt and Liz and I just didn't. I felt absolutely no connection to either of them. I think Matt was trying to make us feel that he wasn't worthy of Liz and felt so lucky to have her, but all I got was that he was kind of selfish and lazy and she was the one who worked her butt off flying him around to visit her and then taking responsibility for moving their life forward. The way he has described Liz...well I just find her to be, I feel guilty saying it, someone I would not have liked. They just don't sound like my kind of people. With zero connection to the people I just could not feel the sympathy and caring that I so wanted to feel. About halfway through my feelings of "whatever, dude, sorry this happened, glad you got through it, but I'm done" won out.
Profile Image for Kristy.
26 reviews8 followers
May 7, 2011
My first real book review on here, and, boy, do I have a lot say about this one.

'Two Kisses for Maddy' is the story of a man who become both a father and a widower in the span of twenty-seven hours, and his journey to mourn his wife and live for his daughter. At first I didn't like this book: the writing is a little simple and full of 'fucks' and 'shits.' But it read quickly, and I came to enjoy how conversational the book is. The author is a blogger, too, after all.

The other hard part of reading this book was that I knew that Liz was going to die, and it was almost unbearable to read this book leading up to that moment. I felt almost frantic knowing that she would not get to hold her newborn baby. I cried as her death and Matt's initial reactions to it were recounted. All I could think about was how unbearable and unbelievable that moment had to be for them and their families. I cried because I thought about my fiance, and how I wouldn't know how to function if this was our fate.

The book goes on to chronicle Matt and Madeline's journey during her first year of life and the first year after her mother's and his wife's death. Although Matt paints himself as a reluctant caregiver, his devotion to his daughter and his wife is painfully and joyously evident. Not only this, but his compassion shines through and is truly admirable. Many times throughout the book he mentions how everyone grieves differently and no one should be judged for reacting "the wrong way" or something else equally generalizing. He began a foundation in Liz's honor to assist families in similar situations to his own and reached out to many more through his blog. He frequently points out that his decisions for himself and his daughter are still heavily influenced by his wife. One of my favorite examples of this is when he mentions his first instinct would be to clothe Madeline in a hand-me-down flannel shirt, only to buy a $200 Chloe dress in a boutique for her instead because it's what Liz would have done. His desire to bring Liz's influence and presence into their daughter's life is sweet and amazing and, I would imagine, emotional.

This was without a doubt one of the saddest books I've ever read, and I probably shouldn't have brought it to work to read on my lunch break. Tears threatened me far too often. But this book ended on a note of hope and peace, and was just generally a great story.

I wish the best to Matt, Madeline, and their families, and I encourage anyone to read this book for an emotional, difficult, loving, honest, hard look at life and love.
Profile Image for Voracious.
988 reviews35 followers
December 19, 2011
This man went through a terrible experience, I know. And it sounds like he's doing a great job with his daughter. But he didn't appeal to me.

I understand being massively sensitive in the wake of loss, but not continuing to defend your excessive over-reactions. He's hugely judgmental about silly things. For example, he whines about strangers asking about "Maddy's mother" rather than "his wife". That's just silly. No-one's going to risk offending a stranger by assuming marriage, but if there's a baby, it's pretty safe to assume that there is - or has been - a mother.

I didn't like the money situation. He took in very considerable amounts of money in donations, ($60,000) then whined about the State giving him only a small death benefit, then collected $4000 in a fun run and gave that away (congratulating himself mightily on his generosity), then flew his baby all over the world (not cheap) and bought her a Tiffany necklace...there's an inconsistency in his attitude to money that I found annoying.

He has all this COLOSSAL support from friends, family and the Web, and yet he refers to his daughter as "the only person I care about". He takes snits at people over NOTHING - was hugely upset that when his SIL was assumed by a stranger to be his baby's mother, she didn't choose to correct the impression.

I suppose, finally, I was put off by his apparent assumption that he was entitled to a happy, problem-free long marriage. It's not an entitlement.

Incidentally, the way Americans support people in times of loss blows my mind. That is hugely impressive, if nothing else in this book is.
Profile Image for Samantha Smith.
133 reviews6 followers
April 10, 2012
I have conflicting thoughts about this book. On many levels I found this book to be extremely captivating and interesting. It is a story that automatically draws in any reader or compassionate person. I'm a newlywed so I can only imaging losing my spouse suddenly and unexpectedly. I totally get how this would be a life changing and horrific experience.

I applaud the author for being willing to share his experiences and intimate details of his life with readers. I respect that he doesn't shy away from writing details that cast him in a negative light. For example, he openly discusses how his wife was the primary bread winner while he was happy to sit at home and pretend to look for jobs. I think these details added to the story and gave us a picture of his life and how important and special his wife was. She sounded like a very patient and forgiving woman.

However, this book is so poorly written that it distracts from the story. Some other reviews critique the book for having so much profanity. I myself am not at all offended by profanity I use it all the time and think there is a definite place for it in books. However the profanity in this book seems so forced and awkward that it also takes away from the story. I think maybe someone read a rough draft of his book and applauded the author for his use of anger and profanity and so the author then scattered it in everywhere possible. In places the book felt raw and real but then in others it felt forced. I also do have to comment about the definite hipster vibe. Yuck. Another problem I have is the woes the author has about his financial situation but then flies all over the world and vacations non stop. I can't sympathize for his financial problems when he is flying to exotic destinations.

In general, I would recommend this book and I am excited to meet the author and hear more about his story and hear more about how he is doing parenting his daughter. Do I think he should strive to become a writer. No way! I would tell him don't quit your day job, but when I read the author's bio it looked like he already had. Ooops.
Profile Image for Laura.
158 reviews35 followers
April 5, 2012
I will make this a short one.
I know some of the reviews that came and will come will say that this is not a book worth your time. I go against it. Yeah, I just gave it 3 stars but just because I can't deny the lack of true literature. I give it to Mr. Logelin that he admitted not being a writer and believe him I do. But for those reviews that completely miss the bigger picture, I just feel sorry for them.
Maybe I just let myself guide for the tears I shed while reading but I'll admit it, I am a sucker for tear inducing reading, movies, music or anything and let me tell you that I consider myself tough so I put up a fight before letting go of my tears.

I am 18 years old for the moment, age when this two awesome couple met and started a new life, if short, together. Concluding with the day Maddy was born. And I consider this book a great way for grieving people, to see that you are not alone is one of the first thing people looks for. And it's great for teaching to the rest of us that are starting living, really, and for those already living, that life is not forever. One instant and that was it, there it went your chance in life.
So let's not forget about that. Maddy isn't the only one living without a loving parent. And she certainly won't be the last. So for her sake and for many others and for ours too (why not?) let's not forget.

It isn't fair Mr. Logelin. That because of your loss and gain you had to create this. Yeah, the worst experiences help create. Why not giving a chance for that that is great to while it is still there?

Profile Image for Stephanie.
273 reviews7 followers
August 5, 2013
This is the memoir by Matt Logelin, who lost his wife, Liz, a day after their daughter Madeline was born. I heard it as an audio book, as read by Matt himself. His grief is raw, his words are haunting. The crass language was a bit much for me (probably because I was hearing it and not reading it), and it really detracted from the story. I get that this is how he talks, but it really is distracting.

I have to say, though, Matt really made me kind of dislike him. He expresses at every turn what a great dad he is (and I have no doubt he is), but he also gives off the impression of being rather immature. He was amazingly lucky that his boss at Yahoo! gave him something like 7 months paid leave after his wife died. But he doesn't reflect on how unique that is, or how most people lose their jobs after life-changing experiences. This should have humbled him a bit, but instead he used that time to travel everywhere and spend money fairly recklessly.

I also feel like although the book is title Two Kisses for Maddy, it's really all about Matt. He could have developed Maddy a little more, although I understand that grief is enveloping, and I guess it is a miracle that he was able to take her of her during such a hard time.

I don't know. His blog was better; I used to read it fairly regularly, but the fact that I stopped a few years ago is probably an indication that I shouldn't have "read" this book.
Profile Image for Marianne Stehr.
949 reviews7 followers
May 7, 2011
This is one of those stories that is hard to review. of course the story of life and death is heatwrenching and the story itself, unfortunately true, will certainly make for a great book. However this story did not sound like just another "regular" person having significant crisis. This is a very lucky, well connected and highly supported father who has lost his wife unexpectedly and as written in the book, he is far from the only person the experience this. so to me the book takes on a connotation of either getting rich from the episode or obtaining closure through a book. I read it, I cried with the story and I "enjoyed" it but it also made me unconfortable that while he has people all over the world sending him donation he is taking his daughter to the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and flying to other countries constantly etc. I am glad he has found some peace and normalcy in his life since the tragedy and I wish him continued peace and success, however the story left me wanting this man to see the joy he has in his life and not continue to portray himself as an outcast.
Profile Image for Cassandra.
67 reviews3 followers
January 13, 2011
Two Kisses for Maddy is a tragic memoir of a man's loss of his wife. Matthew Logelin lost his wife twenty seven hours after his wife gave birth to a baby girl. Matthew's wife Liz died of a pulmonary embolism that stemmed from being on bed rest for several weeks before the delivery of her daughter. The memoir in Matthew's voice is raw and heartbreaking and I had to put it down many times because it was too painful to read. Matthew Logelin shares his grief openly and gives much insight of the chaos that occupies the mind during a devastating and dark tragedy in ones life. In the book you get to read Matthew's journey from immense grief to seeking support from friends, family and eventually his community. The memoir is sad and at times very difficult to read, yet the book also gives hope that perhaps we all can find a reason to fight and persevere and not stay frozen in that horrific moment of loss.
Profile Image for Tiffany Malcom.
Author 1 book13 followers
August 23, 2012
I realize you may think I'm heartless, giving one star to a book by a guy whose wife died the day after giving birth. Sue me. This book stinks. Here's why.

1. He's unimaginative with his words. He uses the f-bomb every other paragraph. Words lose their power when they're used too often . . . and he uses that word as an adjective, verb, noun, you name it.

2. His wife was the primary breadwinner in their family, so he was worried about money when she died. One of his friends set up a PayPal account to help him out, and through the link on his blog, people from all over the country sent money to him and Maddy. What did he do with the donations? Bought records, beer, baseball tickets, and more flights in one year than I've taken in my entire life. Seriously? Lots of people could have used those donations to buy actual necessities for the kids they're trying to raise alone. Eventually he did set up a non-profit, so I stopped seething.

3. How many women in America are single moms and don't get any special treatment? He laughs about how people in airports go out of their way to help him while women flying alone with children are left to juggle baby carriers and diaper bags with no offers of help. Like women are supposed to parent without assistance, but men get sympathy and special favors.

4. He's an immature jerk. He takes Maddy to a Dodgers game and forgets to bring a bottle. He says he doesn't want to go home because that would ruin his daughter's first baseball game experience. Yeah, right. Like she cares about the game. Instead he swishes formula in a bottle of water, pokes a hole in it, squirts it in her mouth, then brags about how awesome he is. He declares himself an expert parent after three months. Again, seriously?

So overall, I guess what it comes down to is that I just didn't like this guy. Maybe he's super nice, but he comes off as a pretentious jerk cashing in on his wife's death.
Profile Image for Christine Young.
25 reviews1 follower
August 26, 2016
I've read Matt's blog so I knew how his story unfolds before I read the book. And that meant I was crying from basically the first page as he described how he and Liz met and fell in love. I don't think Matt's the best writer ever. (His blog drives me a bit crazy because he writes in blocky short sentences a la Rosie O'Donnell). But Matt doesn't claim to a be a writer. This was never his goal. He was thrust in to the literary world after suffering a horrible tragedy...the death of his wife the day after their first child was born.

But the book isn't just a novel of sadness. It's also about survival and hope. The majority of the book is spent on how Matt coped after Liz died. He talks about the wonderful support group of bloggers all over the world who helped him learn how to care for Maddy as a single dad. He writes about how he (along with friends) started a non-profit in Liz's name so he can help other families who are going through similar (or worse) situations. It's a vey inspirational, albeit incredibly sad, story. And a great read.
Profile Image for Alissa.
2,193 reviews33 followers
January 31, 2011
I read Matt's blog for awhile, so when this ARC crossed my desk I had to grab it. And I read it in less than 24 hours. I enjoyed the full narrative instead of the haiku like blog posts. Matt is a great writer and his honesty in his writing makes this novel compelling. His love for Liz & Maddy shines on each page.

I laughed and I cried. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Kelly.
539 reviews76 followers
September 15, 2016
Disclaimer: Brutal honesty ahead.

Matthew Logelin sounds like an asshole. That doesn't make the loss he suffered any less devastating, but he does a super great job of making you like his wife a lot better than you like him. And she tragically passed away in 2008. But reading about his love for his daughter and the way the tragedy affected his life was touching. A solid 3 star memoir.
Profile Image for Joe M.
15 reviews
May 12, 2023
If you want to read this book because you enjoyed the movie, don’t. This may be one of the few books in which the movie is better. I was expecting a sad but feel-good book with a fair share of sorrow but the overall aspect of love and hope. It was not.

I feel extremely sorry for Matt and all that he went through. I hope that I will never understand all that he is going through. And it may be with a lens of naïveté that this review is written. Early in the book Matt discusses his relationship with Liz. How they met, early travels, marriage, and the pregnancy. He then discusses how Liz passed away and the immediate aftermath of grief and sorrow that followed. I assumed that the final part would be the hope portion of the novel and was disappointed when it was just more of the sorrow and grief that was covered in the second part. I’m know Matt went through a lot, but the way he presented the story just didn’t resonate with me.

In reading other low star reviews, some suggested just reading up on the foundation that was set up in Liz’s name. I haven’t tried that yet, but it may be a better alternative. Others also noted his consistent use of foul language. While it didn’t add anything to the writing for me, it also didn’t detract from it.
2 reviews1 follower
June 18, 2020
I was leery of reading this book about such a sad topic, but I am so glad it did. What a well-written story that spoke from the heart. I highly recommend it!!
Profile Image for Janene.
11 reviews
May 27, 2011
I have been a follower of Matt's blog for a few years now. I found his blog through someone else's blog and was immediately drawn to his parenting style and his story.

I bought this book because I felt like I needed it but never really had any intention of actually reading it. I already knew Maddy and Liz's story and it really is heartbreaking. I didn't think (because I'm insanely sensitive) that I would be able to read it without crying the whole way through.

When I got the book home, I opened it up to look at the pictures. Then I read the first couple pages. Before I knew it I was 75 pages in and had just cried for the first time reading it. I'll be honest with you, I cried a lot less than I expected to. Matt's way of dealing with his loss and with his new found role as a single parent was captivating. It's true that he is very unapologetic in his writing style but I find it to be the perfect voice for someone who had just gone through what he went through. I found it refreshing that he was real and honest.

My book club read "A Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didon a while ago. I couldn't get through it. It was so depressing to hear this woman mourn her husband. It was painful to read about her personal conflict with trying to give away his running shoes. I hated the book. It was full of sadness and pain.

I was really worried that this book was going to be similar - after all, they both recounted the year following the death of a spouse. Matt, however, showed glimmers of hope and reasons to live. Matt lives for Liz and for making sure that Maddy knows as much as she can about a mother who loved her more than she will ever know. I loved the book and would highly recommend it to anyone who wanted to read a true life story about loss and love. :)
389 reviews24 followers
December 15, 2015
Awful. Hated every second of it. Took me weeks to read because I actively did not want to read it. So why didn't I stop? Because I have weird issues when it comes to books. But it's books like this that make me wish I didn't have the compulsion to finish every book I started.

It took me about ten pages to realize I wasn't going to like the writing style. It took me fifty to realize the book was never going to get better for me. I'm sure Matthew Logelin is a great guy. He was probably a great husband. He is probably an amazing father. Maybe he's even a good blogger. But he really isn't a good author. His wife passed away the day after their child was born. Pity, pain, sadness, empathy...these are the things I should have been feeling for him. But by that time he had already alienated me so much with his incessant use of cuss words (that literally did nothing to further the story and instead made me, as a reader, very concerned about his lack of vocabulary and language development skills) that I didn't feel those things at all (although I did end up feeling bad that I didn't feel bad for him...so I guess there is that).

I am sure he is not as petty as he sounded. He was in pain and had every right to lash out at people at any given time. I'm sure he is not snooty. But his writing made him sound that way. And I couldn't get past it. The writing tried too hard to be funny. It tried too hard to be cool. I didn't feel for him, despite him having one of the saddest stories I've heard. So I wish the man luck, but I will not be checking out his blog. And I will not be recommending the book to anyone else.

Oh and the poems at the beginning of every chapter. Awful. Distracting. Made no sense. Did not further the story. Neither did the song lyrics. Just made him seem pretentious, which makes me sad :( Could have benefited from a good editor in my opinion...
Profile Image for Sara.
1,379 reviews65 followers
June 2, 2011
This is such a great memoir, covering a very sad situation but managing to be inspiring and uplifting instead of completely and utterly depressing. The author's wife died the day after their daughter was born, and this book chronicles his relationship with his wife and then his struggle to get through the first year of their daughter's life as a single parent.

The author has a very relatable writing style that drew me in almost immediately. I was unsure about this book before starting it, not wanting to get sucked into something filled with nothing but sadness, and although there are definitely very sad parts (or at least one sad part), the fact that the majority of the book is spent focused on his love for both his wife and daughter and the way his daughter helps him get through each day makes this a wonderful read.

The struggle he faced to raise a child on his own is very apparent, but his desire to be the best parent instead of the weaker of two (since he no longer has that option) is inspiring. I loved the way he drew strength from others, first family and friends and then strangers, and the ways he found humor in situations. I'm sure that when his daughter is old enough to read this book, it will be a wonderful gift to her, filled with memories that she never had.
Profile Image for Selina Benware.
3 reviews2 followers
September 15, 2011
One of the beat books i have ever read(and I have read thousands) so full of love, loss, and raw heartbreak, but so worth it!! I have cried many many times while reading this(bawled actually) but it has also shown me what it takes to be a ''better'' parent, and how your own child can not take the pain away, but make it just a little more berable! I can only hope that someday I will be as good of a parent as he is! AFter losing his wife suddenly only 24 hrs after their beautiful baby entered the world, he has to pull himself together and survive for his new baby even though the woman of his dreams had to go! He now has to be both parents and take care of a baby all by himself! I have read some revies on his vulgar language, but fyi people, he has EVERY DAMN RIGHT to use this language after all he has been thru! The book is still amazingally written and I know had this happend to me, I would be cursing too!
Profile Image for Leslie.
367 reviews16 followers
May 23, 2012
I will start this review by saying what happened to this family is horrible. I feel deeply for them and their pain

however. not a book worth your time. donate to the foundation if you want (I encourage it in fact) but don't read the book. he over uses profanity (not something I completely oppose in books but it should be used to enhance meaning... not cause you wont take the time or thought to come up with a better word.) I appreciate that he is honest about his short commings, but I wished he would be a little more apologetic for the jerk moves he made. for example it is totally understandable that in his grief he was a complete jerk to the grief counslor who came to help him right after his wife died, and I loved that he admitted to it. yet he never seemed to acknowledge that he was a jerk. he still painted her as a vulture.

I may be a literary snob but I beloved if you are going to publish you should try to do a good job. and I feel like he didn't.
Profile Image for Indica Argento.
4 reviews1 follower
April 1, 2018
I've read much better sob stories than this one. This one feels like a blatant cash grab, moreso now that Channing Tatum is making a movie about this crap. People die, why should this guy be the only one to benefit from tragedy? If that's the case for benefitting from tragedy then every single person that has lost someone should have a crow funder started for them, should have care packages out the asshole. But they don't. Greed and more greed. I wonder if his wife was as much of a greedy pig as him.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,154 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.