Never Stop Dancing

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A book review of Never Stop Dancing: a Memoir by John Robinette and Robert Jacoby

A book review of Never Stop Dancing: a Memoir by John Robinette and Robert JacobyStars: *****

Inner Harbor House (2019)
246 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: A story of grief, male friendship, and healing conversations.

“Be present,” “cherish each day,” “always say I love you.” John Robinette lived those words. Or so he thought. Then his wife, Amy, was killed instantly in a pedestrian accident.

John’s world shattered, and he began the grueling task of parenting two young boys in a house filled with vibrant, bittersweet memories. As the grief closed in around him, John’s close friend, author Robert Jacoby, saw John struggling and proposed an unusual idea: to interview him over the course of the first year after Amy’s death. Robert’s hope was to meet John directly in his experience of sorrow, explore his grief with him, and discover what lessons might be learned.

Born of a year’s worth of candid interviews, Never Stop Dancing avoids clichéd takeaways about grief and healing to chart a deeper, thornier examination of loss and regret. Robert and John are transformed through their shared experience, too, emerging strengthened and with an abiding male friendship that cuts against the grain of pop-culture trends of quick fixes and easy answers. This memoir-in-conversation provides hard-won reassurances that one can and does go on after loss.

Never Stop Dancing

I’ve read books on death but this book is like no other, in a good way. Robert interviews John over and over starting from right after he loses his wife in a tragic accident until a year after the death. John opens up much more then you would expect and shares it ALL. All his thoughts, all his fears, all his memories, what it’s REALLY like after losing someone you love and having to raise two boys on your own.

The book is gripping, I had trouble putting it down. I’ve been lucky that I haven’t really lost anyone in my family yet (knock on wood) other than a few people I barely knew when I was a kid. I went through my husband’s family’s many deaths but although those were traumatic, it’s not the same as losing your own parent or sibling.

This book gave me access to what it would be like if someone close to me passed. It’s scary to see how much your life would change. But although it’s scary, it makes me feel more prepared for it when it does happen.  Death is inevitable after all.

Another side effect it had which is hard to talk about, is it had an affect on my occasional suicidal feelings that I get as part of my Bipolar (not right now.) When I was highly suicidal, my husband and I would discuss it and I’d say no one would care, they’d be better off etc. He would say the death would affect him and the kids in a large way and they’d be changed forever. Not just their feelings but things like income and the house and such. It was hard for me to see it that way. I understand it more when I’m not suicidal but I didn’t REALLY understand till I read this book.

What I’m saying is, if you suffer from suicidal feelings, you should read this book to see what your death would REALLY be like for your loved ones. Even if you don’t have a husband/wife or kids, there are people out there who love you who WOULD suffer greatly.

I’d love to see this book picked up by a big publisher where it could be promoted more widely because it’s a worthwhile book.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.