Reviews for Drowning in Iowa:
"Have you ever closed the pages of a book around one finger and lowered it to your lap... Been left sitting there... Breathless... Looking off somewhere with an unfocused gaze... While your soul catches up with the last line you just read? That's this book... Over and over... This is a must read... & a must read again.
It is so well written that it doesn't take long before you forget that you're reading, and instead find yourself amongst the characters... Leaning back against a kitchen counter... With a tea cup in your hand... & a lump... In your throat.”
"The setting for Gordon Self’s second novel, like many talented Canadian artists, moves south to the USA. Though without some of the drama and danger of his debut novel (The Necessities of Life- set in Vancouver’s East Main street drug ghettos) Self’s engaging story-telling craft explores the intricacies of parental grief in Iowa. As a former hospital chaplain the author clearly knows the emotional struggles and deep existential questions of couples who've lost a child.
He weaves together important issues of identity, fidelity and family in this captivating tale of two busy physicians who stumble towards the truth of the old adage “Physician heal thy self”. Over worked professionals, and parents balancing work and family demands will find likable kindred spirits in the two doctors working through life’s struggles. The wife and husband’s efforts to stay connected and find peace in the midst of pain and suffering offers hope and encouragement to the rest of us in our own times of turmoil. I look forward to Self’s next book wondering where he will take us next."
"Gordon Self transports the reader through a journey that could be anyone’s life. A heartfelt and beautifully written story of a loving couple caught in a tide of marital struggle, career demands, temptations, confusion, the loss of a child, depression, and isolation. Drowning in Iowa is a lovely homage to compassionate care providers and families. It offers hope to all who have experienced the pain of losing a child or are living with depression."
"As someone who grew up in the Mason City/Clear Lake region, Gordon Self captures perfectly the culture of the area in a book filled with suffering, love and medical trauma. Self perfectly captures the essence of loss and the impact on family relationships. An excellent read!”
"Drowning in Iowa is a compelling story of love and sorrow. Gordon has provided insight into the emotional jungle that families navigate through during life's challenges. A truly heartfelt message.”
"The Drowning in Iowa characters, their family interactions, emotions, and settings feel authentic. My emotions churned too. i couldn’t put this book down and so read it in two days."