NEW YORK, Dec. 15, 2020 /PRNewsCentre/ — On sale today, If Only by Carole Geithner tells the story of 13-year-old Corinna’s first year struggling with the aching loss of her mother to cancer while navigating typical coming-of-age dilemmas. Despite her alienation from many of her peers, she succeeds in finding support in a year that will change her life forever – all while learning more about her mother in the process.
Geithner has relaunched her 2012 original novel at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated grief to a new level of consciousness in our homes and schools. If Only takes place before COVID-19, but its relevance to bringing grief out of the shadows in homes, schools, neighborhoods and extended families is especially important for readers today.
"While we all experience grief differently, it is my hope that through Corinna’s story, those who are supporting a loved one may develop new understandings. And for those experiencing grief themselves, it is my hope that they find solace and a new friend in Corinna on their journey," said Geithner.
Endorsements for If Only
Maria Shriver, Journalist and Author: "To anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, every step of Corinna’s journey from grieving to healing will feel familiar and true. As a mother, I wanted to hold her hand through the sleepless nights, painful reminders, unfulfilled plans, special occasions and unanswered questions. Words don’t always work when someone is grieving, but this lovely story of a young woman getting through the death of her mother ‘tiny bit by tiny bit’ will be a godsend to teenagers and adults alike."
Kenneth J. Doka, PhD, Senior Consultant, The Hospice Foundation of America, Author: "Carole Geithner sensitively captures the journey of grief in her portrayal of the experiences of her thirteen-year-old heroine Corinna Burdette after the death of her Mom in If Only. Adolescents will find understanding and empathy as they deal with their own losses and those of friends. Adults will be reminded of the struggles of a bereaved adolescent feeling different yet desperately trying to fit in her world. If Only is destined to be a classic timeless story about loss, grief, and hope."
Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters and The AfterGrief: "If Only is one of the very few books for this age group that speaks to the very specific experience of mother loss and its aftermath from a child narrator’s point of view. So many YA novels include mother loss as part of a character’s back story, but very few address it as motivation for the story itself. Geithner captures the inner thoughts and struggles of a motherless daughter with rare insight and sensitivity. I’ve recommended it to countless teen readers over the years."
"I’m all bundled up in my coat, hat, and gloves, and my nose is running all over the place as I walk around the block, looking at the neighborhood houses all lit up for the holidays. They’re no longer just houses or scenery. Each one of them is a story. I start thinking about who lives in the gray house, the yellow house, the tan house. I watch them going about their business, turning on their holiday lights, setting out the trash. Life as usual. In our house, life is not ‘as usual.’ We didn’t put up our decorations. Our house is permanently changed. Our house is filled with sadness, not holiday cheer. Our house is missing someone. Our house is the one with the mom who died, the one with the girl who lives alone with her dad. I don’t know if it makes people feel sorry for me or makes them feel lucky that they are not me. Or both."
"It’s confusing how I want people to acknowledge my mom’s death, but I don’t want to have to talk about it if I’m not in the right mood or place, which is a lot of the time. I think that my father would call that an oxymoron or a conundrum or some other fancy teacher word. Someone should invent a signaling system for awkward but important topics. Green for ‘It’s a good time,’ and red for ‘It’s not a good time; try again later.’ Maybe that’s how I’ll make my million bucks."
About the Author
The emotional power of If Only is informed by Geithner’s more than twenty years of experience as a clinical social worker, working with scores of children who have had a parent die, as well as adults whose childhoods were shaped by parent loss. In addition to her clinical practice, she leads Writing to Heal workshops for non-profit service organizations. Geithner previously served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University School of Medicine.
Marie Matta, Prosek Partners
SOURCE: Carole Geithner