Monday, March 11, 2013

Lemons Into Limoncello

Lemons Into Limoncello

From Loss to Personal Renaissance with 

the Zest of Italy

By Raeleen D'Agostino Mautner

Published by HCI Books

May 2nd, 2013

When I read the author's previous book about Italy, Living La Dolce Vita, I was charmed and delighted with her descriptions of the traditional Italian lifestyle.  This is an equally good book, but rather different in as much as it deals with rebuilding one's life after grief, loss and bereavement. 

Dr D'Agostino Mautner's husband died suddenly at a comparatively young age and she chronicles the varying stages of grief, providing strategies appropriate for each grieving stage and outlining how an Italian way of life and perspective can help. It is a very positive and upbeat book considering its genesis was in such sadness.

This is a profoundly religious book, though the style is by no means preachy or proselytising by any means. She shares a prayer, ideas about journaling, choosing a religious artifact - picture/icon, cross, rosary etc to keep at home, finding a saint whose life or writings are inspirational to you, and considering getting involved in a church or church 's outreach group s means of dealing with the immediate aftermath of a tragedy or bereavement.

The use of both music and silence are also covered in some detail;  I have vivid memories of my mother dealing with my step-father's death by keeping the radio on when she was out of the house, so that when she came back in, she would not be greeted with absolute silence. Putting beautiful things in your home, learning to be mindful and live in the moment, creating meaningful treats/habits, taking care of one's self, enjoying food (including a luscious recipe for limoncello biscuits!) are just a few of the suggestions given.

The whole book is a thoughtful collection of excellent ideas which can be used as a self-help manual to deal with the aftermath of heartbreak, and I wish I had  had a copy of this book when I was struggling to deal with the loss of my brother a few years ago.  This one is definitely a keeper.

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1 comment:

elizabeth said...

Thank you so much for letting us know about this book. It sounds like one I must put on my list of 'get-this-book'...