Braestrup was an accidental chaplain. Her husband, Drew, a Maine state trooper, died in a car accident at a time when he was considering a second career as an ordained minister. After her shock subsided, Braestrup decided to follow in his footsteps and became a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service, which sets up search-and-rescue missions throughout the state. Practical, unsentimental, straightforward, she is the kind of person who considers a book entitled Death to Dust: What Happens to Dead Bodies? a romantic gift (Drew’s to her on her thirty-first birthday). She, not the mortician, bathed and dressed Drew’s body. She witnessed its cremation. And, rather anomalously, she, a middle-aged mother of four, works mostly with young men. Her own remarkable story encompasses those of the men and women who work alongside her, incorporating many touching anecdotes, none more moving than that of the state police detective, a breast-feeding mother whose last name is Love, who arrests a sexual predator for a young woman’s murder. A poignant, funny book by a sympathetic, likable, immensely appealing figure. Sawyers, June –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
On Wednesday, October 22nd, Patti Rau will lead a book discussion of Kate Braestrup’s book. Copies are available at the library.
Book discussions and other related programs will be held at area libraries during the fall, culminating with a visit and presentation by Kate Braestrup at the Lutheran Church in North Conway at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 13th.