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Reader's Response


This is what a few people had to say after reading "The Jim and Dan Stories."

Alan Forrest Ed.D - Radford University Professor and Grief Counselor

The Jim and Dan Stories is a small book that chronicles the lives and loss of two brothers. Why should we, as readers care? Because very quickly the author's brothers become the readers brothers. Redman writes with such clarity and packs such an emotional punch that at times you will need to put the book down, but not for long. The book draws you in so rapidly that you become one of the family members. The writing style is creative and unique and the writer weaves the distant past of her childhood with the recent past and the present into a tapestry of feelings so powerful that the stories will stay with you long after the book has been read. There are gems of quotes generously sprinkled throughout the book that accurately capture the emotional intensity of death, loss and bereavement. The size of the book is deceptive because it contains a wealth of stories that are so reflective of life, that at times you will be laughing and other times crying as it is filled with both comedy and tragedy. Ultimately, we realize that Redman’s story is our own story; the story of loving, living, losing and somehow going on. This book is too valuable to be put on a shelf once it has been read. My recommendation is to read it and pass it on to a family member or friend. In doing so, you will help them to live more richly, love more freely, and heal more completely.

This book review appeared in the SiblingConnection Newsletter - January 2004
Last week new author, Colleen Redman, sent me a book for review and I am delighted to talk about it here. The author lost two adult brothers one month apart--a devastating loss that she dealt with by writing. The result is an inspiring book, The Jim and Dan Stories: A Journey of Grief and Faith. Ms. Redman draws the reader in immediately and keeps your interest with simple, clear language. One thing I particularly liked about the book is the structure of it. The book is like a patchwork of memories of her life, her family, her brothers--she tells stories. This is how we grieve. The memories come to us in no particular order. Her writing style matches the content. "Death is a strict teacher," says Redman. She tells us what lessons she has learned through this process. In her writing she tries to understand Death, to look at it from varying perspectives, turning the experience over and over again. This book is one of the new books about adult sibling loss that have been needed for so long. You can read more about the book, including some of the stories and purchase it online at Silver and Gold Productions

Vist the Sibling Connection website at

Other Reviews

“…Of course, there was blessed humor to be found on nearly every page…The continuous accounts of pain amid the beauty of the changes of seasons, amid the comings and goings of your family life are what none of us can believe until we fall into the hole ourselves…For the example of what an enlivened person can create from the emptiness of grief, I thank you. For validating the grieving experiences of others in a world that rarely will, I thank you…I wish all my hospice families would read your book.” Rosemary Wyman – hospice CNA.

“…Twin brothers, twin towers, twin families…I am totally enjoying your book. It is creating a bridge between my deep seated grief and the air. I am breathing in deeply and releasing the pain. It feels good to cry and feel “normal” about it.” Rain Lipson – Rain, who also grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Virginia, lost her brother, Steve (born on the same date as Dan), in the summer of 2002.

“…I took the book to the beach…and, if you can believe this, I was burning up, but I couldn’t put it down…So, there I was standing in the ocean, holding up the book while still reading… Ann M. – Reader who contacted the author.

“…I started reading your book and within pages I became a member of your family. It was as if all you were describing, I too had experienced, was experiencing. Your words, your story, your love touched my heart in a way that cannot be adequately expressed in words, but was felt from within. I have already decided to use your book as a required read in my upcoming death, loss and grief class later this year. What you say and the way you say it goes beyond what can be found in the usual college textbook…” Alan Forrest EdD – Radford University Professor and Grief Counselor.

“…The Jim and Dan Stories reads like a writer’s diary, a keenly observed, anecdotal account of small-town life nearly a half-century ago in Hull, and today in Floyd, Virginia. Although the book details the loss of her brothers, The Jim and Dan Stories are not so much woven into a whole through the circumstances of their deaths as much as in celebration of their lives and the lives that the author shared as one of nine Redman siblings…” From The Hull Times, Massachusetts, September 4, 2003, Susan Ovans, editor.

“…It’s light…but it’s heavy too! With so many how-to books out there, it’s refreshing to read such a real and personal story…People will take what they need from it…” Diane Giessler, foster care provider

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