Joy Enough by Sarah McColl

Joy Enough

Sifting gingerly through memories of her late mother, brilliant newcomer Sarah McColl has penned an indelible tribute to the joy and pain of loving well. Even as her own marriage splinters, McColl drops everything when her mother is diagnosed with cancer, returning to the family farmhouse and laboring over elaborate meals in the hopes of nourishing her back to health. In a series of vibrant vignettes—lipstick applied, novels read, imperfect cak...

Details Joy Enough

TitleJoy Enough
Release DateJan 15th, 2019
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography Memoir

Reviews Joy Enough

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I'm all in for grief memoirs, still, and Joy Enough by Sarah McColl is an honest capture of layered grief - loss of marriage, loss of mother. It's not only bad parts and her past is largely positive, so it isn't all sad, very true to reality. I would give this to a friend struggling with a parent's illness or terminal diagnosis. It's hopeful in its straightforward look at everyday death (that never feels "normal" when you go through it.)
  • Zoe
    Like a cool washcloth on a hot forehead. This was the perfect balm for my own grieving soul.
  • Kayo
    I almost gave up on this book , but so glad I didn't. Very touching, and it just spoke to me. Lovely. So worth it.Thanks you Goodreads for letting me win this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
  • Kris V Bernard
    “I loved my mother and she died. Is that a story?”This book caught me off guard and pulled me in with that first line. What follows is the story of a mother’s impact on her family, and especially on her daughter, Sarah.The language is rife with beautiful metaphors, and the structure is delicately woven around memories of her mother.This is a tender artful expression of pain and longing, beautifully written.Finishing it, I’m reminded of th...
  • Jaclyn Hillis
    Joy Enough is a beautifully written memoir about love, and the life and loss of her mother. I received an advanced copy from NY BookCon.
  • Katie Devine
    "I loved my mother, and she died. Is that a story?"I was captivated from the first sentence of this lyrical, fragmented memoir, and my attention was held through tears and laughter and heartbreak and joy until even after the final sentence. This is a book that begs to be re-read and savored again, and I will be heeding that call.
  • Jessie
    I watched McColl's edition of "stacked" on belletrist's Instagram and she talked about all of her own books with such affection; I decided I must read the work of a woman who takes that much pleasure in words. Joy Enough is strangely Dionysian. It luxuriates in language. (I was not surprised to learn that the author once earned her living making people's mouths water as a food writer.) McColl imbues every meal eaten, every landscape viewed, and e...
  • Caiti S
    Sarah used to write one of my favorite blogs, Pink of Perfection. This is her debut memoir, and it was incredible. She explored love and loss in relationships--largely with her mother but also her marriage and within herself. Sarah's writing is gorgeous and vibrant. A small but touching and powerful memoir.
  • Claire Fuller
    Sarah McColl's mother dies, she loved her, she wonders if it is a strong enough story. It certainly is. McColl writes beautifully of love and death in snippets of memory, interspersed with the story of her own failing marriage (I didn't find these elements as strong as those about her relationship with her mother). I'll definitely be looking out for what McColl writes next.
  • Lisa
    4.5 stars, rounding up. Aching, lovely, understated. I want to call it a pleasure to read, even if that feels not quite right to say about a memoir of grief. I have missed McColl's writing for many years now, and am so glad to have it with me again.
  • Kelley
    This was a story that mirrored both my grief for my mother and my grief for my marriage more than anything I’ve read. What a poetic, lyrical and luscious book. And the experience of recognizing myself and reading my previously unarticulated thoughts and feelings- true gifts. ❤🙏🏼 This was a story that mirrored both my grief for my mother and my grief for my marriage more than anything I’ve read. What a poetic, lyrical and luscious bo...
  • Lisa Cobb Sabatini
    I won an Advance Reading Copy of Joy Enough: A Memoir by Sarah McColl from Goodreads.I'm reading Joy Enough: A Memoir by Sarah McColl, readers experience defining moments in the author's life that are at once unique to the writer and familiar to the reader. Recognizing the growing pains endured by the author and sharing the emotions, readers can't help but to empathize with McColl and to revisit the precious, life changing, identity forming momen...
  • Jessie Adamczyk
    Memoirs are tricky beasts. Save the odd, truly sensational story, I believe these monsters only can be conquered by those who are either incredibly talented or obscenely narcissistic. Often times, the writer must be both. McColl, however, does not appear to be either. Her writing style shows promise. The work includes flashes where she seems earnest and desperate to claim her craft. These lines are layered between tired cliche's, however, and wor...
  • Michele Siqueiros
    TY @latimes for bringing this memoir into my life. Joy Enough by first time author Sarah McColl is the most beautiful first love story - that crazy, beautiful, deep love for your mom. This memoir took me alongside a beautiful journey. From her childhood memories, her moms sage advice (including learning how to make several meals out of one roasted chicken), while also learning above all that she no longer loved her husband and facing the grief of...
  • Joy
    Absolutely beautiful memoir from a woman who has lost her mother and divorced her husband. (Although she gets a divorce because she has been unfaithful, and somehow it was surprising and hard to read about a woman being unfaithful.) The book is ~2/3 about her mother’s death and ~1/3 about her own divorce. The prose is very genuine throughout and hauntingly beautiful at places. Highly recommend. (Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention tha...
  • Hazelj jones
    I really enjoyed this book ! Sarah McColl writes with such honest feelings of the journey of her mother's passing and the layers of feelings one has when they know someone they love will soon be gone .A long goodby! A excellent writing and sharing as the daughter goes through the process .I could only admire the author for writing this great book and walking through the day to day activities and coming to understand what a wonderful lady the moth...
  • Jennifer
    3.5 I want to rate this higher. I do. It’s personal and real and relatable. McColl is vulnerable and raw and has talent. The trouble for me came in the structure, the short passages that seemed forced together to impart certain meaning. And the weight of the book felt too front/beginning heavy, not balanced in emotion or impact throughout. I think McColl could have trusted her readers more. That she could have told the narrative in a chronologi...
  • Kimball
    What does it mean when someone says, “You are just like your mother”? Sarah McColl tries to find out after she can no longer ask. In a series of memories, Sarah tries to understand how she is like her mom as she comes to terms with both the loss of her mom and the demise of her marriage. The memories are of first memories, growing up in Dallas, an across country move to Massachusetts, her love story and the story of her mom’s fight with can...
  • kglibrarian
    In this beautifully written memoir McColl reflects on her relationship with her mother from early childhood until her recent death. As her own marriage was falling apart, she spent time with her mother after a cancer diagnosis, and attempted to make sense of her past and the people who helped shape her identity. As she writes about individual moments, philosophical musings, fears and joy, her soul is bared and it is impossible not to feel a deep ...
  • E Emens
    This memoir is exquisite. Familiar, precise, and painful; gorgeous, luxurious, and, in rare and surprising moments, laugh-out-loud funny. Anyone who has loved, and then stopped, can relate. Anyone who has loved someone that much, and walked through their dying, can relate. As can anyone who has been a daughter who loved her mother. Or who has been accused of making too much meaning out of small matters. McColl makes words do unusual things yet ai...
  • Kim Bakos
    This book was a sweet remembrance of the author's mother. I liked her writing style, but found the shifts in time to be a little hard to follow. I found the falling apart of her marriage to be sad since it seems that in some ways they were still in love. Marriage is something to fight for, not to be discarded once you are "over it". I read the book in one day, so I enjoyed it, but won't say it is a "must read" for me.
  • Jennifer Romolini
    Sarah McColl is a gorgeous, generous writer; with the kind of gentleness, warmth, and depth of skill that makes even the most crushingly sad moments in her work feel hopeful and alive. This book is about grief — but also about love and truth and understanding and discovering who we are. I finished "Joy Enough" last month and have not stopped thinking about it since. I honestly don't know if I ever will.
  • Sarah
    Beautifully written, profoundly sad, a gorgeous tribute to the author’s mom.“What if I expect too much of life?” I asked.She shrugged. “So what if you do?”“I have never had the guts to call my mother’s oncologist. I still don’t want to be permanently on her shit list. There are questions I have about the end that will go unanswered...I think I know what he would say on the phone, his voice tender. It would not be about how she die...
  • Rachel Aydt
    Sarah McColl's book is a gorgeous, unflinching look at love and loss. Her prose is incredibly poetic, and her characters are drawn out in a way that will stay with me for ages. I feel like I've sat with her and her mother at a kitchen table over long, wise conversations and lovingly prepared meals. I felt the deep pain of her mother's departure and cheered her on as she moved through her bad marriage into freedom. I love this book and will revisi...
  • Kate
    I truly enjoyed the prose McColl wrote in. The story was beautiful & sad. It was a simple memoir of loosing the most important person in McColl's life her mother while her marriage is falling apart. It's a book of self discover & having to pick up the pieces of your life after all you had leaves your life.
  • Raksha Vasudevan
    The joy of this book is in its elegant, lyrical sentences and all the surprising facets of a mother-daughter relationship. McColl is a gifted writer, especially in choosing what to leave out - because everything that makes its way into this slim book is a carefully unearthed gem, reflective of life, death, love and all the forms it can take.
  • Anne E
    I loved this memoir. Sarah speaks of the big things we all experience love and loss with a feminine and poetic voice. This is a book that lingers with you after you are done. I highly recommend reading it. It will make you cry at the fragility of love and at the same time deeply understand the value of it.
  • Bamboozlepig
    It was okay, although the bouncing around between past and present was a bit confusing. Some of the writing was overly purple prose, while other parts were beautifully done. But it was still a heartbreaking read as McColl not only tried to deal with her mother's death, but also the disinegration of her marriage.
  • Jackie Bergeron
    Loved the exploration of what it means when someone says you are just like your mother - something I feel I haven’t read before in a grief novel. Brilliant tone as well (I was expecting this to be morbidly sad.) While I didn’t love the aspect of the story about her ex husband, I do really love the way she tied these two pivotal experiences together to tell the story.