Vidh, a Book of Mourning
Hagios Press / 15 June 2011

Vidh, A Book Of Mourning by Phyliss Nakonechny Published by Hagios Press Review by Sharon Adam $18.95 978-1-926710-06-8 Following the death of her husband, Phyliss Nakonechny devoted much of her time to the pursuit of understanding grief and grieving. She asked the question “what does it mean to be a widow?” and came away empty-handed. What she learned is the stark, utterly personal nature of such a quest. However, she discovered a few signposts along the way which she now shares in hope of helping others through their own journey. The first thing Phyllis found was a simple word: Vidh. Vidh is known as the ancient Sanskrit word for widow and widowhood. However, Vidh has a second meaning stemming from ancient India that few know: it also expresses notions of “apart, lacking, and empty.” Not a misery memoir, but a voice for every woman who will become a widow, Nakonechny’s book also provides an insight for men who are left behind. Death and dying are two entirely different things. When your spouse is dying, there are still moments of tenderness, intimacy and the sense of the person being there. In death there is nothing but memory. Everything that was physical…

Lonely Luna

Lonely Luna by Majid Damircheli Illustrated by Wendy Siemens Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Kris Brandhagen $14.95 978-1-894431-59-0. Lonely Luna written by Majid Damircheli with illustrations by Wendy Siemens is about a little girl who moves from a warm climate to a cold one. It is a story that successfully conveys some of the trials and hardship that may occur within a family, and specifically with children, when making such a grand adjustment in place, weather, language, family relations, and culture shock. As Luna experiences winter for the first time, Damircheli establishes a nice rhythm of repetition, using epithets to teach about snow being “white like milk” and “cold as ice”. Because of the weather, the neighboring children don’t go out to play, and Luna only gazes out the window at the empty neighborhood, hence the title Lonely Luna. Luna is seriously out of her element in terms of temperature, but also in terms of language. She seems to be, hmm, eight? She can’t understand at school, and so doesn’t make friends there either. To the moon and the sun, in turn, she wishes for a friend. Siemens includes an illustration that shows three figurines, the sun,…