To Where You Are

Love, Loss, and Finding the Path Home

Non-Fiction - Memoir
296 Pages
Reviewed on 06/02/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Joanne Ang for Readers' Favorite

To Where You Are: Love, Loss, and Finding the Path Home is a memoir written by Jason Fisher about his wife, Amanda (Mandi) Cowart. Jason and Mandi met in the most unconventional circumstances and fell in love in unexpected ways. Jason and Mandi’s true love withstood the tumultuous path they walked. The arrival of their precious daughter was far from easy. With a surprise diagnosis of a rare genetic disorder, they had to be even stronger for their daughter Mackenzie (Kenzie). Regardless of their unfortunate circumstances, nothing could stop them from becoming the best versions of themselves and providing for their special needs daughter. In just a few minutes and a few words, Jason’s world collapsed when Mandi’s life was cut short. As a widowed, single father to a child that needs special care and attention, Jason struggles to accept his circumstances while overcoming his immense grief. This is a story about finding the road to recovery and finding solace in the memories of his loving wife.

To Where You Are by Jason Fisher is an exceptional memoir. Jason laid his life and relationship with Mandi completely bare within this book from the beginning to the end. To Where You Are is a journey of love, compassion, pain, grief, and acceptance. Jason’s phenomenal writing is painfully detailed. His utter confusion, immense sadness, and suffocating grief resonated deep in my heart with every page. Yet, I couldn’t stop turning to the next page as he finds the light within the darkness with the help of his incredible daughter in more ways than just words. I simply can’t recommend To Where You Are enough. It is an amazing memoir of a wonderful granddaughter, daughter, wife, and mother that was gone too soon.

Viga Boland

On finishing To Where You Are: Love, Loss, and Finding the Path Home by Jason Fisher, my immediate thought was what a beautiful tribute to love, family, and life! Those of us who have written memoirs on difficult subjects know the courage it takes to share our pain on paper. Oh yes, it’s therapeutic, but it hurts and it’s hard. Jason Fisher has pulled it off, and although his memoir is, as all memoirs are, unique, those who read this book will find much to which they can relate. Fisher chose to begin his memoir “in media res” and plunged himself and his readers into the most devastating event of his life: the sudden death of his beloved wife of only 5 years. The guilt he suffered, and the loss he felt for months after were overwhelming. Compounding his burden was his very young, non-verbal special needs daughter, Kenzie, whose medical needs had strained the family finances since her premature birth. Thankfully, both sides of the family were there to help with Kenzie but Fisher’s mental struggles were debilitating, all of which he has captured so passionately in his memoir. Ultimately, as he continues to live for, and take pleasure in his daughter’s growth, Fisher has embraced the wisdom of the statement: “Remember the past. Plan for the future. But live in the moment.”

Memoir authors often make the mistake of presenting their story in a very long narrative, making minimal or no use of dialogue, and including too many irrelevant side stories. Not so Jason Fisher. Yes, he is meticulous in providing detail where necessary, but he never bores. Readers will learn much about Kenzie and the intricacies of her medical history, but it’s all very interesting and enlightening. And while Fisher is the sole narrator, and hence the voice for all the characters, including his wife who cannot speak for herself, he manages to capture her personality and life essence beautifully. Readers come away feeling they know her even though they never met her. Fisher has never written a book before To Where You Are, but in penning this memoir, I think that amongst the many roads he has already traveled since Mandi’s passing, he has just discovered another avenue to pursue. Go forward with courage, Jason. The sky’s the limit!

Iza Grek

To Where You Are: Love, Loss, and Finding the Path Home is a heartbreaking memoir by Jason Fisher. He details his journey of finding the love of his life only to lose her in tragic circumstances. After six years of blissful marriage to his partner Mandi, his life takes a dramatic turn. Jason Fisher’s life unfolds from one tragedy to the next. He and Mandi have a daughter. The daughter, Mackenzie, has a string of disorders ranging from physical to cognitive, including a hair lip, autism, and a chromosomal defect. More than a story of overcoming adversity, this is a story of grit and determination. In Fisher’s words, “perspective and perseverance” are the tools he gained from his experience. Faith also plays a role in his healing.

My heart was breaking and I kept on wishing his luck would change as a single father to this challenging daughter and as a man facing some of the most devastating circumstances. Eventually, his ability to move forward and achieve new goals provides him with the strength he needs to follow a career in politics and be an emotionally committed father to Kenzie with less and less support from his family members. Jason Fisher’s writing is detailed and informed, providing explanations for some of the complex medical terms. Despite the necessary detail, Fisher engages the reader in the way that he expresses his pain. His many hospital scenes brought me to tears and I felt deep levels of empathy. A phrase that stood out for me on his healing journey was that he said he had “emotional scar tissue that stops the bleeding.” It’s a painful but essential read in the memoir genre.