Life's That Way

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Life?s That Way is a modern-day Book of Job. In August2003, Jim Beaver, a character actor whom many knowfrom the popular HBO series Deadwood, and his wifeCecily learned what they thought was the worst news possible?their daughter Maddie was autistic. Then six weeks laterthe roof fell in?Cecily was diagnosed with stage-four lungcancer.Jim immediately began writing a nightly e-mail as a way tokeep more than one hundred family and friends up to date aboutCecily?s condition. Soon four thousand people a day, from allaround the world, were receiving them. Initially a catharticexercise for Jim, the prose turned into an unforgettable journeyfor his readers.Cecily died four months after being diagnosed, but Jim continuedthe e-mails for a year after her diagnosis, revealing howhe and Maddie coped with Cecily?s death and how they managedto move forward. Life?s That Way is a compilation of thosenightly e-mails. Jim?s experience is universal for anybody whohas lost a loved one. But Life?s That Way is not solely about loss.It is an immediate, day-by-day account of living through a nightmarebut also of discovering the joy of a child, of being on thereceiving end of unthinkable kindness, and of learning to navigatelife anew. As Jim says, these are hard-won blessings. Butthen again, life?s that way.

Customer Reviews:

  • Read This. Period.
    Life's That Way: A Memoir

    This is the first book in a long, long time that I pulled an all nighter to read. I went to bed at 1 am with the intention of flipping a few pages and going to sleep. At 4 am I forced myself to set it down, turn off the light, and try to sleep. At 4:30 am I conceded defeat to the pull of the book and picked it up again. At 7 am I finished it and marveled at it and slept a few hours on it. I got up to tend to my dogs, and before going back to sleep I needed to post this.

    Jim Beaver is someone I admire. Yes he's an actor. Yes he's in one of my favorite television shows. That isn't why I admire him. He's also a former Marine who served in Vietnam. He's also a playwright. He's also a biographer. He's also a single dad, and a very wise human being. This is this Renaissance man's memoir about the year encompassing the discovery that his wife, Cecily, had cancer, two months after their two year old daughter, Maddie, was diagnosed with autism, and everything that transpired for 12 months from that point. It is a compilation of nightly emails he authored to friends and family during that year, which were then forwarded to further and further ripples until they were reaching about 4000 people. And reading them is both a privilege, and a remarkable journey.

    If you have ever lost a loved one. Read it. If you have yet to, read it. Just read it. Please. You will be a better human being for having done so. ...more info
  • Unguarded look at greif and how to move on....
    This book has opened my eyes to the grieving process and has encouraged me to speak to family and friends about the loss of my grandmother. His words are so powerful and real... One can't help but relate to his feelings, mistakes, worries, and fears when reading this book. In this book, Mr. Beaver has been able to make me grieve and mourn the loss of someone I did not have the pleasure of meeting, a most difficult task for any author. To anyone who has lost a loved one, or anyone who may be lucky enough to have never felt that kind of pain, I strongly suggest picking up this book. I read it in a day and consider my life changed because of it. ...more info
  • Life's That Way ->
    This is a marvellous book about a horrible time. Just writing that makes me cringe because it almost seems insulting, but I've no better way to describe it.

    Jim Beaver has shared the most tragic time in his life and his struggle to recover from it - shared his darkest hours through his writings with family and now complete strangers in an attempt to help anyone else struggling with such devastation as the loss of their second half or even those of us who know others in similar situations. Trying to give hope where there might seem to be none and showing others that people can share love with those in need when least expected.

    This is lasting testament of his love for his wife Cecily. A memoir he can share someday with his daughter Madeline. It's Mr. Beaver exposing his heart for anyone who'd care to take a peek.,/p>

    This is a very personal work, a very personal experience. And it will touch you deeply no matter who you are. ...more info
  • A Love Story with a little lesson for life
    LIFE'S THAT WAY, by Jim Beaver
    A Review

    I confess to having some trouble figuring out how to write this review. Not because the book isn't remarkable - it is - but because I did not want to cheapen its import with a casual splash of words. This book means something to me. As a cancer survivor, I found it means more than I can easily express.

    "Life's That Way" is, foremost of all, a love story and a testament to the human spirit. Jim Beaver does not portray his wife as a flawless woman, nor paint himself as a perfect man. Rather he says, look, we're all kinda screwy, but that's just a little dust on the furniture. Loving someone, that's what truly counts.

    Jim's writing style is of such candid feeling that it gives the book a rare grace and readability. The immediacy of the narrative, however, is what struck me most. Presented here are emails and messages in present tense, things that happened now, today, not five years ago. Today Jim talked to Cecily's doctor, today Cecily got her MRI results, today Maddie asked why Daddy was cwying. I think this is what makes the book's reality so poignant.

    It is why I read each entry on Cecily's illness as if following the battle of a friend, so immersed in the story that I forgot this is already done. It is certainly why, when Jim wrote of her death in the terse language of the utterly bereaved, I had to walk away. I had to put the book down and go wrap my mind around the finality of Cecily's loss, despite knowing that she is these five years gone.

    When I resumed reading, it was an amazing voyage. Sometimes I felt like an invisible voyeur, that I shouldn't know this much about another's pain. But lest you think this is a tale of unremitting sadness, know this: it is not.

    What shines throughout is the fierceness of Hope. Every time the darkness falls, every time tears hit like a monsoon storm, Jim picks himself up and goes on. Every step of Cecily's illness, Jim's hope burned unceasing. He speaks with awe of the support of friends, and does not concede the fight for an instant. Even in his darkest days, he reminds us that we're all just human beings. Contrary to the movies, we do not suffer nobly and sometimes we're just plain petty. But it's okay, because if you love, really love someone, you can make the little stuff just not matter.

    After Cecily's death, Jim is a man at Ground Zero of heartache, the smoke and ash of his dreams all around him. But as his brother-friend, Tom Allard reminds him, "Life's that way." Not in tones of fatalism or inevitability, but as a form of direction: Life's that way. Go. Find it. It's still out there.

    And it is. Where Jim finds life is an ongoing saga of little, everyday miracles. Maddie's growth and development. Friends who help. Family who cares. Gifts of chance and gifts of love, deeds of caring and deeds of practicality, (a theater troupe helps Jim move into his and Cecily's new home) and random acts of kindness from so many loving hearts. Somewhere along the line, it dawned on me that Jim and Maddie are two of the most blessed people on earth.

    Life's that way. It's not in a casket or a picture frame draped in black. Life's in the hearts of loved ones, in the eyes of Jim's little girl, in the words he wrote so faithfully, chronicling his journey through the Valley of Shadow. In this book, Jim Beaver unflinchingly bares his humanity for all of us to see, and from this, I take a very important lesson. We need not be so strong we never break. We need not be so brave we never weep. We need not aspire to such perfect selflessness that we must condemn our moments of human frailty.

    If we must suffer, if we must grieve ... just remember. Life's that way - there, where love resides.

    ~ G. M. "Erin" Atwater

    ...more info
  • Terrific read, couldn't put it down!!
    This book comes from the heart. What an amazing gift to be able to put such intimate thoughts and feelings in writing. It is touching, heartfelt
    and humorous. I wanted to be there to help make casseroles, babysit or whatever the family needed to get through. It showed the power of love, friendship and how a strong network of friends and family can help ease
    the pain of a life changing event. I highly recommend this book for anyone that has ever lost someone they love. ...more info
  • A Love Story
    Jim Beaver turned a years worth of emails, which chronicled the diagnosis of his daughter with autism and his wife with lung cancer into a poignant memoir.

    "Life's That Way" is a declaration of love, to his wife Cecily, daughter Madeline Rose, his family and a multitude of friends.

    He bares his soul,allowing us to share his courage. And in doing so we become stronger.

    This book speaks of hope and undying love.

    It is a must read....more info
  • A love to last forever
    I have to admit I was one of those that read all the emails as they were sent out originally. I knew who Jim was and I had seen his work. I was a fan of his. As I read this book I found tears rolling down my cheeks as I read each of these emails again. I was sadden by the news of Maddie and that of Cecily. Then the loss of Cecily. I remember when I got that email. I cried and cried.....just as I did in reading it. But the love....WOW!! It's a love that one dreams about. As I finished the book I realized I had tears but smile. I was happy to know love like that still existed. Now I am a fan of Jim as a Father, a husband and an amazing writer....(of course as an actor.) Thank you for letting us be a part of your life. It is an honor. ...more info
  • Life, Love, Courage, and Honesty are this way.
    Jim Beaver's book, "Life's That Way," came out on April 16th. This book is his memoir, a poignant compilation of the almost nightly emails chronicling his wife's battle with cancer, their hopes and fears for their daughter who had just been diagnosed with autism and the condition of his father and brother-in-law who were also in battles for their lives. While these emails began as a utilitarian method of communicating the daily news and travails of their family, they morphed into so much more. They became therapeutic for him as well as the nearly 4000 people who eventually were reading about this journey.

    The easy path would have been to give into the despair, rage at the world for its injustices, and withdraw....but he slowly worked his way down the hardest path of his life choosing even in his darkest moments to live each day as best he could; some days that was in tears, other days it was with a smile. In the weeks and months following Cecily's passing and the raising of Maddie as a widowed father, Jim continued to find strength and motivation in his writing of the nightly letter to friends and loved ones. He writes candidly with acceptance, compassion, and humor about his progression from being consumed by sadness and grief to being able once again to truly live life.

    The book is not an easy read. I cried many a time over various entries, but I laughed too, and it is undoubtedly the best book I have read in years. He has an innate way of finding the genuineness in even the most desolate times and moving hearts by sharing his. It is a deeply poignant, extremely inspirational story of discovering courage in the face of astonishing and tragic loss, holding onto love in the face of fear, and an absolute refusal to live in self-pity and anger even though those feelings were almost constant companions.

    Anyone who has been in his shoes and felt the weight of overwhelming emotion or been in a situation comprised of seemingly overwhelming odds can find much inspiration in his words. There is no magic panacea to be found here, but it will help because it's just honest and loving and genuine in its telling of the fact that "Life's That Way' and it's waiting for us to reach out and head toward it.
    ...more info
  • Life's That Way...with an arrow
    All of us at some time or another have grieved over loss. Most commonly, of course, would be over the death of a loved one. But grief comes in all kinds of forms, divorce, betrayal that results in the loss of friendship, the loss of our own health. Whenever grief hits us, it hits us hard like a wave that takes us under, and just about the time we stand back up in the surf, another wave knocks us down again. We all deal with grief in different ways as well, but very few of us deal with it with the eyes of thousands of people watching. In "Life's That Way," author Jim Beaver does exactly that. Through a series of emails that started out as a mass communication way to keep family and friends informed of his wife, Cecily's diagnosis of cancer and her fight against it he opens a door to a very personal part of his life, a door that most of us keep shut tight and locked. He not only opens the door but invites us to walk through and join him on the journey. As I walked these steps with him, I found myself forgetting that this happened 5 years ago. Because his daily communication was so honest, so revealing, so very raw at times, I felt I was living it with him. As a reader, I didn't feel detached. I felt involved, so much so, that even though, much like the "Titanic", I knew what was going to happen, when I read the entry that told me that Cecily had died, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately began to weep, no sob, with racking sobs of sadness and injustice and anger. I thought later, after I had recovered, that if I felt that way, not even knowing Cecily, how must Jim have felt? I didn't have to wonder for long, because at this point the book is only at it's midpoint. The second half is a detailed account of exactly how he felt and how he gets through one day at a time and follows "Life....that way."...more info
  • A compass for life
    If I'd never heard of Jim Beaver, never 'known' Bobby Singer, never watched him in any TV Show, I would admire this man simply for the story he's shared in this book.

    The book jacket calls this a memoir. It is so much more than a memoir; to me, a memoir is a story that looks back on an experience in a person's life. It encompasses the lessons learned and the balance achieved after one has survived. Jim's story is told very much in the now. He wrote nightly emails to family and friends--who passed them on to other friends--almost every night for a year.

    As you read this story, you are swept up in the events as they happened to Jim and his family. It is extraordinary. I've never read a book quite like it. I tend to stay away from non-fiction, preferring the escapism of fiction as I feel my life contains enough real-world drama. And I will admit that the reason I picked this book up was because of Bobby.

    But I have since recommended the book to my book club--all but one of whom have no idea who Bobby Singer is--and to anyone else I can. Because I believe that anyone can read this book and walk away with a different perspective on their life. Regardless of if you've experienced the loss of a loved one, or had a challenging diagnosis of your child--Jim's story transcends those details.

    It's a love story, really. Love of self, love of selflessness, love of humanity, love of a mate, love of a parent, love of a child. It's honest and raw and it hurts to read and I couldn't put it down. When I saw the title, I interpreted it to mean that's just how things are. But when you read the book, you realize it's a compass. Move forward, keeping going, life is that way.

    I am married to an amazing man. He's my friend, my lover, my greatest source of strength and my greatest source of frustration. This June we will have been married 8 years. We've been through serious health scares, surgeries, debt, loss of loved ones, the birth of a child, change of careers, and the seven-year-itch.

    As I read this book, though, I found myself wondering if my husband and I knew each other as well as Cecily and Jim. At one point in the story, Jim's entire entry is a laundry list of things that Cecily loved. There are 73 items in the list. And it's basic, and it's beautiful, and it made me think about my guy. And wonder if I could list 73 things that he likes. And if I'd be right.

    Jim's unexpected, quick phrases sucked the air from the room and had my heartbeat echoing in my ears as I applied his passion to my own life and came up short. His simple, eloquent wording struck a chord in me that is still playing loud and strong days after I've finished this story of a piece of his life.

    Sometimes, in a moment of instinctive protection, I don't allow myself to truly feel all that a moment in time allows for. I curl in and let the emotions bounce off of me so that I can keep moving forward. But I realize that by doing this, I've missed out on the good parts of such a moment as well as the bad.

    And therefore, it's harder to remember the moment in it's entirety. And there are some moments, however painful, however ugly, however dreaded, that need to be remembered and savored and learned from and appreciated. Because that's how we grow. That's how we learn.

    Each night we are privy to Jim's thoughts, emotions, anger, sadness, glory, humility, and joy. He writes with unabashed honesty as he travels the path of his wife's disease, going from frightened spouse to single parent and letting us know that above all, there is goodness in the world. Despite the darkness that settled on their little family, there was light all around them and it sustained him and he was able to continue on because of it.

    I guarantee you that if choose to read this story, if you choose to travel this journey, you will emerge on the other side with your world brighter. You may cry, you may rub at your aching heart, you may even want to put it down half-way through because you just can't take any more... but when you finish this year with Jim, you will know that humanity is one of the greatest things on this earth because of it's capacity to give and it's need to take and it's fortitude to fight through the darkest times of life.

    I'm off to make a list of things my guy loves... see how many I can get......more info
  • Memoir review
    This book is so amazing and it helped me to really realize how truly lucky I am to have what I have. I am glad I read this book It is such a sad devastating story but so hopeful & uplifting. Mr. Beaver is a fantastic writer besides being a gifted actor and his daughter is lucky to have him for a dad....more info
  • Life's That Way Review
    It's not everyday you come across a memoir written in real-time, especially one as soul-baringly honest as Jim Beaver's "Life's That Way".

    This refreshingly, sometimes brutally, frank and heart wrenching account of his family's journey through the diagnosis of terminal illness, of raising an autistic child, the dark times after the loss of a soul mate and the later loss of his own father has the ability to make you weep and, at times, laugh as this grizzled cowboy tells family and friends via nightly emails about the circumstances his family is facing and how they are all coping in their various ways. It is not surprising that the list of email followers swelled into the thousands as people sent the accounts on to their family and friends in the hope that they would bring some hope or solace to them.

    This memoir is not sugar-coated or heavily censored to show the author in a kinder light, and Jim Beaver pulls no punches when admitting to his own human faults when dealing with situations that would drag most people over the precipice of despair. His self-deprecating style of writing draws the reader in, they feel they know the people Jim writes about, and they care about the hurdles and outcomes that he and his family face. He also shows the lighter side of his family, recalling cherished moments and events both within their immediate and extended families.

    "Life's' That Way" is a poignant declaration of love for his treasured wife Cecily and their daughter Madeline Rose as each struggle to overcome their own inner turmoil and the stumbling blocks life has thrown at them. Jim passes on the wisdom of showing family and friends you love and admire them at all times and the importance of hope, compassion and finding the gifts and lessons in all situations.

    The reader finds a great respect for the dignity with which Jim and Cecily approach their dilemmas of dealing with her cancer diagnosis and imminent death and his future role as single parent of a child with special needs. While they both approach the situation with grace and humour, they also show their humanity and frailty, their deep and abiding love for each other and their much wanted child, and their knowledge of how blessed they are to have each other, their adored Madeline Rose and a supportive network of friends, family and co-workers.

    If there is a list of books to help a person understand the true emotional rollercoaster of a terminal prognosis and its aftermath, then this book should surely be on that list. "Life's That Way" is a testimony to love, hope, loss, grieving and the rebuilding of life one tenuous step at a time. A box of tissues study of life not to be missed and a timely reminder to talk from your heart.
    ...more info
  • A Must Read
    Please read this book if you want to know what till death do us part really means. Read this book if someone you love is or will ever be ill. Read this book because throughout our lives someone close to you will die and you will need to know how to cope. Read this book to help those who are grieving. Read this book and learn to live!!! ...more info
  • Pain and Hope
    Jim Beaver's Life's That Way is the most sincere account about the battle with cancer I've ever read. The book is a collection of e-mails Jim sent daily to family and friends about his wife's struggle with stage IV lung cancer. For most people who have experienced the disease this is indeed a painful read, but it also offers hope and reasons to smile. When Cecily was diagnosed, an unbelievable number of family members and friends offered to help in any way they could, making Cecily, Jim, and their little Maddie feel a little less alone in their fight.

    Jim is honest in relating his thoughts and emotions. Reading about his anger, resentment at the unfairness of the disease, and profound fear makes it easier for people to accept these feelings when they experience them themselves.

    This is a touching, heart-breaking book everyone should read. Not only because almost everyone knows someone who had cancer or even had it themselves, but because it can teach us about our own strength and courage when they're needed, and that human kindness and selflessness has no limits.
    ...more info
  • Because sometimes life's that way... and because life is that way ->...
    Life's That Way: A Memoir

    This book is one that tells a story of true love between two people. It shares memories of private times and speaks of hope for things in the future.

    You walk away from the story with a feeling of true love between two people who had to separate too soon. Jim Beaver's honesty and forthright manner in opening up to all that took place during the time of his wife's battle with cancer and the days, weeks, and months that follow.

    May we all find someone to whom we can be so treasured, honored, and respected.

    And, Jim, at every mention of "Pie" your love will be remembered and recalled! Thank you for sharing such an open look into your journey!

    Everyone who has ever loved, lost, hoped, fought, cried, or treasured should read this book!
    ...more info
  • Life is That Way
    Like most people who bought this book, I first knew of Jim Beaver from the show "Supernatural" and his character the awesome Bobby Singer. As I began to learn a few little facts about the man himself, I realized he was pretty awesome too; and when I found out he had a book being published I wanted to support him. I had no idea what I was in for or that I would find we had so much in common.

    The 2 people I love most in this world have also been diagnosed with cancer, my husband and son. My husband has had it twice. And while I am blessed enough to still have both of them with me; I have experienced all of the same emotions Jim describes so eloquently in his book. I have also experienced life's wonderful tendency to keep piling on the hardships even when we feel we can't take anymore and then, "Oh, just one more thing."

    This book is a compilation of emails Jim wrote each night during the course of his wife's diagnosis, treatment and in the wake of her death. They are raw and honest, sometimes brutally so, and I found myself wanting to race to the computer to answer one more than once and then I would have to remind myself they were written 5 years ago or more. Jim pulls no punches, he doesn't paint himself as some long suffering saint here. He is just a man who loves his wife and his daughter and is trying his best to keep heart and head together in the face of the worst year of his life.

    But please don't think this is only a tragic, cry-in-your-beer story; because that is so far from the truth. This is a love story. One of the greatest. This is another thing I found Jim and I had in common. We both found the kind of love you only read about in books or see in movies. The kind people are talking about when the say you find your "other half". It isn't perfect because people aren't perfect, but it doesn't have to be, and Jim is so good at telling his and Cec's story and the depth of their love for each other. There were so many times, I thought, "Yes, this is exactly what it feels like."

    It is also the story of the love of parents for their child. The love which spearheaded the long, painful struggle just to bring her into the world; and then the fierce love of a mother determined to keep her child grounded in this world and give her everything this life has to offer even as she comes to terms with the fact that this child she longed for won't even remember her as she grows to womanhood.

    I "knew" and liked Jim Beaver before I read this book; now I adore him. And you will too; not because he is an actor and famous, but because he is human just like the rest of us. Oh, and he's awesome. :)...more info
    I found this book incredibly compelling from the very first page....... the raw, honest, humorous writings of Jim Beaver left me unable to put the book down.

    Although it's a book about tragic loss, it's so much more...... it's a beautiful love story between a husband and wife ...... a mother and her daughter...... a father and daughter.

    Jim's ability to articulate human emotion is nothing short of brilliant.........

    I highly recommend it...........more info
  • The most moving, honest and enlightening book I've read for awhile
    It's been a very long time since I've read a book as open, honest and enlightening as this one. At times so honest, you feel like a voyeur - like reading someone's diary, you don't think you should but you can't tear yourself away. I cried, I smiled and - overall - I gained some kind of understanding of how going through this kind of tragedy can change your life. In some ways, for the better. It certainly made me think. I now say "I love you" to my loved ones more than I did before I read it. And I thank my lucky stars that I have loved ones to say this to. Thank you Jim. ...more info
  • Fantastic Read!
    One of the best books I have ever read. You will cry but you will laugh out loud too. It will leave you with a feeling that love can be forever! Jim is a wonderful actor and also an amazing author. I highly recommend this book....more info
  • Life's that way
    I am a italian fan of Jim Beaver for a long time. I have always known that he was a great actor but I do not know under the human aspect . this book I was moved up from the front pages. this little diary, so great human emotions, and infinite love, has managed to steal my heart. tells so true and sweet a moment of a life so tragic and painful. There's never angry, in his words there is sadness, so many questions, but all written with an immense love for Cec and his little girl so special to she fill his heart at all times, she is his refuge happy together! Real friends are so important, ones around he and not ask for anything unless can help him and to be ready to collect the pieces of a heart that is broken by grief, but always with incredible dignity. as the battle of Cec against a disease so insidious that often takes away the dignity of a woman/man. she has never surrendered, she always fought her fight with all her strength, but especially for Jim, love of his life, and light of her life their little girl! I think it is a great example for those who is going through a similar, but for also who does not love life enough. this book is a great lesson in life, love and strength. fill the heart and helps you realize how important life is to live and that we must only cry but live a full life every day. Jim thanks for having opened your heart and have given us a special way of looking at life....more info
  • Courage, Hope, and Living
    A sweet, heartbreaking, inspiring, and yes funny, slice of life is recorded in the emails of Jim Beaver's Life's That Way. Early in the book, I realized that my preconceptions of the title and the subject were in error. Life's That Way isn't the passive equivalent of "life is like that" and there is nothing we can do. Life's That Way is pointing in a direction and making a conscious decision to not give up, to be anything but passive, and to run or walk and sometimes crawl toward Life again.

    For anyone that has experienced an intimate loss, which is most of us, this will be an emotional reading. But the reward is Jim's honesty and bravery in reporting his feelings, feelings that sometimes as survivors we don't even want to admit having, but ultimately connect us through being human. The book is a lovely tribute to the tenacity of spirit of Cecily, Jim, and their daughter Madeline Rose....more info
  • Hope and Heartbreak - living in the moment
    This book alternately makes me howl with laughter and then reach for the kleenex. This sincere heartfelt memoir collects the nightly emails Jim Beaver would send to friends and family as his wife, Cecily Adams, experiences advanced rapid moving lung cancer, treatments (medical and spiritual) all as they move into a new house with their beloved daughter Maddie. Every page radiates love and hope in the face of odds none of us would want to consider. His humor peppers the book in unexpected treasures - he describes his well meaning but challenging mother in law as "calm as a bag of bees"! To share something like this is an act of bravery that few can equal. I first came to know of Jim Beaver from television's Supernatural and have come to enjoy his prose even more than his body of work as an actor. ...more info
  • Beautiful Honesty
    I'm normally a pretty cold-hearted person, but this beautiful and honest look inside Jim Beaver's life pushed me to tears; both of sadness and joy. Anyone who has been touched by cancer or some other tragedy will relate to a lot of things in this book - the fear, the courage, the determination, the joy, and the heartbreak.

    I was so struck by how honest Jim was with his feelings and how beautifully written these notes to family and friends were. I felt like I knew the people he wrote about because he welcomed the readers into his circle. And what a circle! Hollywood is often portrayed as a cold place, but Jim was shown another side to it once Cecily was diagnosed.

    Do yourself a favor and read this book. The complex feelings surrounding the events of that year are easy to read in that everything flows so well, but at the same time, it's one of the hardest things you'll ever peruse. I was a fan of Jim's and Cecily's before the book and now I feel almost like a part of the family.

    ...more info
  • Moving and touching
    A friend picked up a signed copy for me at a book store signing Mr. Beaver was attending and I am so glad she did. "Life's That Way" is a loving tribute from Jim Beaver to his wife, Cecily (daughter of Get Smart's Don Adams), who died of Stage IV lung cancer. It was originally written over a 1-year period as e-mails sent to family and friends to keep them updated on his wife's progress (and her fight against the illness). In the book, Jim's e-mails are filled with hope, heartbreak, but most of all, love.

    I cannot say enough good things about this book and how it touched me as a person who has lost friends and family members to cancer. If I hadn't already been a fan of Mr. Beaver's work on television (Supernatural, Deadwood, Harper's Island), then his book has forver made me a devoted fan of his writing.

    I feel privledged to have read it....more info
  • Funny, moving, and well-written
    Life's That Way is a funny, poignant, well-written chronicle of "a year in the life" of Jim Beaver. It happened to be a particularly rough year. For those who don't know, in 2003, Jim's wife Cecily was diagnosed with lung cancer not long after their daughter Maddie was diagnosed with autism. Jim kept family and friends updated through regular e-mails, and these comprise the book. I laughed, I cried, and I traveled this road with Jim, as he reported on Cecily's treatment and complications, the ups and downs, their hopes and fears, her death and his grief, and his joy at Maddie's amazing recovery. It is rare that a book has me tearing up at one sentence and then giggling madly at the next; in fact, I think this is the first book to do so. Jim is starkly honest in describing his feelings, and I wish I could describe things as aptly as he does. And I don't just mean he describes feelings well, but everything. At heart, it is a story of healing, of the beginnings of healing, I highly recommend it to everyone....more info
  • A must read
    I am amazed at the love that stands out in this book. Jim is honest in all ways including his fears, anger, guilt and the love he has for his wife and daughter. I wish I had the words to give this book the review it deserves. I will say this buy it and read it. Don't forget the tissues....more info
  • A beautiful story of love, loss and renewal
    What an unbelievable privilege to be invited so intimately into the heart and soul of another through this beautiful story of love, loss and ultimately healing and renewal. Jim Beaver's memoir of the most difficult year of his life is the most touching love story I have ever encountered. The loss of his beloved Cecily soon after his daughter's diagnosis of autism would bring even the strongest of hearts to tears. This story of the ultimate triumph of the human spirit and its ability to survive the unthinkable was influenced large part by the love and generosity of an amazing group of friends and family. I expected a sad tale. I instead found a beautiful love story and a renewal of my belief in the human race. I am reminded that the human heart has an amazing capacity to love and an astounding ability to survive things we are sure will destroy us. We have all experienced, or will experience crushing losses in our lives. This book is a reminder of the need to open yourself up in order to heal. Thank you, Jim Beaver, for allowing us to share in this most personal and beautiful of tales....more info


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