[livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks recommended this to me ages ago as one of her favorite memoirs. It’s excellent.

Braestrup’s husband, a cop, was killed in a car crash before he could retire and become a Unitarian Universalist minister. Braestrup decided to become a minister herself, and ended up as the chaplain for the game wardens in her small Maine town.

This is a hard book to describe and make it sound as good as it actually is. It’s written in that deceptively simple manner which is so easy to read and so hard to write. It’s religious without being self-righteous, full of compelling stories of searches for missing people, loving descriptions of the Maine wilderness and wildlife, and an intimate portrait of a family. Braestrup’s brief dips into comparative religion, which she says herself were not thoroughly researched, probably should have been left out. But when it comes to her own faith, her writing struck me, a Jewish atheist with some serious bones to pick with organized religion, as accessible, unsentimental, and often wise.

Here If You Need Me: A True Story

This book was of particular interest to me as next month I will begin training as a volunteer crisis counselor, in association with CERT (Community Emergency Response Team,) and if I manage to make it through the training, which will no doubt include many instance of roleplaying (my least favorite thing ever,) will be on call four hours per month to assist people in various post-emergency situations.

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