Why should I even pretend neutrality when I love and adore Melissa Dalton-Bradford around the globe and back? Funny, beautiful, smart and wise, she’s taught me truths, gifted our family with dozens of new friends, loved my children and believed in me (and don’t we all need people who believe the very best of us?)
Still, I’m offering no personal prejudice when I say– Melissa can write.
I know a lot of writers. I’m a fair writer myself. But I know only a few who have been touched by the finger of God and gifted with flowing, poetic, gorgeous words. When Melissa sends a text or an email her words sing. You can imagine the beauty of her book.
As the memoir made it’s way around my family, we read passages out loud to each other, discussed aspects of Scandinavian culture, laughed at Melissa’s self deprecating wit, and we cried. Everyone cried. I sat between Ben and Xander–each with Global Mom in hand– on our flight to Europe this summer and watched as they both wiped their eyes. I remember Gabe whispering to me, “I think Dad’s reading about Parker.” as Erik sat on the couch surrounded by Kleenexes.
Nothing on the cover or in the marketing, presentiments the death of Melissa’s oldest son Parker two-thirds of the way through the book. But I will. Far from a deterrent, I believe Melissa’s journey to hell and back, inspires every reader. To bury a child represents every parent’s darkest nightmare– I would much rather learn from Melissa’s hard earned wisdom, than walk that thorny path on my own.
Melissa speaks beautifully, and profoundly, about keeping our loved ones with us. Remembering birthdays, speaking their name, telling their stories. At the Bradford’s home, every morning and evening prayer mentions each child by name– Parker, Claire (on a mission in Italy), Dalton and Luke– wherever they may be.
On a less profound level of learning from other’s experiences– Global Mom gave me a taste of nomadic life. I’ll admit, I’ve always coveted international moves. Planted in one city my entire life, I longed to travel the world, raise my children in foreign cultures, switch effortlessly from English to French to German. Reading Melissa’s experiences, I discovered the nomadic life contains both more excitement and more hardships than I’d imagined. Ultimately, the book left me still intrigued with global living but grateful for my own, less exciting journey. I can plant fruit trees and enjoy the harvest.
Global Mom is a book you should buy. First, you’ll want to fold the corners, mark favorites passages and pass it between family and friends. Second, purchasing a book like Melissa’s sends a message to publishers that Americans DO read thoughtful, poetic, beautifully written books. Through the writing and publishing process, Melissa was told over and over– “you need to dumb it down,” “people don’t like thoughtful writing.”– the top sellers in publishing right now are salacious titles and silly how-to tomes like ‘Coupon Crazy!’ I feel the same way about good music– don’t burn me a CD, I’ll happily pay $1.29 to support excellent musicians.
Creating a video preview for Global Mom has been my privilege and challenge. How to capture a book, an extraordinary woman, eight countries in two minutes? Impossible. But it’s a worthy try and I’m grateful Melissa took a chance on my feeble skills. Now, you may see the trailer elsewhere, on Amazon, Facebook, Familius etc. But only here can you catch the bonus twelve seconds at the end….
One last thought… the Bradford family motto (translated from my rusty German):
We build here so firmly.
And yet we are but guests and strangers
and where we should build eternally
we build too little.