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Searching for Spenser


Loved it! 😍

This beautiful memoir is a joy to read - connecting us to our humanity and honoring people who daily fight on the front lines for kids.

If someone asked me to list my top three fears, I would say divorce, watching my child suffer, and losing a child. Any one of those situations would wreck me forever. 

Margaret Kramer dealt with all three, coming out on the other side whole and hopeful. In Searching for Spencer, Kramer tells her story including her fears, realities, and lessons learned. She doesn’t hold back in telling the details - the visceral version, not the commercialized motherhood of perfection often portrayed - even when she may not be shown in the best light. This unvarnished memoir is a beautiful testimony to a family navigating hard realities. Kramar is honest about her own role as wife, mother and professional, and she adeptly includes other’s relationships with her son Spenser as relayed to her in subsequent interviews. 

Some aspects of her journey made me laugh. Others made me sob. And a few I wanted to shout at her to choose differently. In all of them, Kramar’s courage shines.

Kramar allows us to walk a mile in her shoes, understanding the challenges of parenting a child with special needs and dealing with the death of a child. We can empathize with her in the uniqueness of her experience and also relate to her because of the similarities to our own experiences parenting. We all have hopes, dreams, and fears related to our kids and their individual circumstances. “We would still have a happy ending, even if I had to manufacture it” she says. What parent hasn’t had that thought? 

In Searching for Spenser, you get an emotionally raw, ultimately hopeful, and eloquently told story of a boy who was nice to everyone. And we get a example of a mother who allowed her son to be himself, living in the present, every day he was given. Oh that we could all offer that same gift to our children instead of viewing them as “reflections of ourselves“. 

You don’t have to be divorced, a parent of a child with disabilities, or even a parent who has lost a child to benefit from reading this book.  Kramar’s book connects us to our humanity - our birth, our living, our emotions, our searching, our hope, our death. Her writing is engaging, illustrative, and smart without being peachy or pretentious. This memoir is a joy to read and an honor to the memory of Spenser. 

Reviewed by

I believe reading books is a gateway to living your best life. Reading helps you to know yourself and to relate to others more deeply. Books are fabulous conversation starters, even with non-readers. One of my missions in life is to share book love with anyone and everyone. Books bring joy!

The Memory Bank

About the author

Margaret Kramar is an educator who taught English at the University of Kansas where she recently completed her PhD. Her work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and anthologies. She and her family live on a farm in NE Kansas where they produce organically grown fruits and vegetables. view profile

Published on November 10, 2018

Published by Anamcara Press

80000 words

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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