Monday, June 15, 2009

"Approaching Neverland" in Bookland Heights

On Approaching Neverland:

"Peggy Kennedy’s brave, beautiful and often humorous account of a family’s efforts to put the pieces back together, again and again, while continuing to endure more tragedy than anyone should ever have to, is a remarkable legacy to the people in her life and their capacity for love. Because, in spite of it all, time after time, even when love was not enough to change the circumstances, it triumphed." -- Diana Black

Approaching Neverland was named a Finalist in the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and won 1st prize for non-fiction from the 2008 San Francisco Writer's Conference.

Author Peggy Kennedy as been producing events in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years, ranging from the Chinese New Year Parade to the Bay Bridge Celebration. She lives with her family in Northern California.

Read more of the book review as well as an interview with the author on the WOOF blog!

Approaching Neverland
A memoir of Epic Tragedy & Happily Ever After
By Peggy Kennedy
ISBN 978-1-4401-2613-0
iUniverse, 259 pages

Buy it now!

WOOF for more stories about special women in our lives...


  1. Sounds like an intriguing book. How courageous of Ms. Kennedy to share her personal story. Thank you for finding all these great authors and showcasing them!


  2. Welcome to Bookland Heights, Peggy!

    Any words of experience to those who might be wanting to write a memoir?


  3. "Approaching Neverland" is a fascinating read. I am amazed at how optimistic and cheerful the author remains as she recalls some of the most potentially damaging events in her life. Lately, when I'm having a bad day and "blaming" it on my childhood, I am reminded by one of Ms. Kennedy's stories - particularly the opening chapter - or the story about her sister - and I realize that, not only have others had much more haunting nightmares than I, but some have survived with still a smile in their hearts and a sweetness in the voice that tells their tales. What a magnificent woman Peggy Kennedy is...what a strong and poignant book!

  4. Diana - My sister Sue gave me the best advice when I first told her I was going to write a memoir. She told me not to censor myself as I wrote, and to write from my passion. I often remembered her words as I wrote and ultimately found that the only memories worth writing about sprung from my strongest feelings of sadness or anger, frustration or happiness.

  5. That is such great advice, from both you and your sister.

    You are an excellent writer, Peggy. It seems to me that by the very nature of a memoir, it might be hard to objectively rewrite and edit.
    You obviously went the extra mile to craft your book.

    How did that work for you?


  6. Welcome to Bookland Heights, Peggy! Can't wait to read Approaching Neverland.

    I'm sure writing this memoir was a cathartic experience, but how did you feel after it was published? Was there a letdown, or did you feel relief that it was finished and "out there" for the universe to read?

  7. Peggy - I finished your book a few weeks ago, and my sister Katrina just finished it last weekend.
    She found it a fascinating read, and couldn't put it down. Especially knowing Patrick (from Jr High school, mostly) and Bonnie as well made the story so very real.
    I'd love to know the reaction and comments from people named in your book.
    It is an extremely honest, insightful and heartfelt narrative, Peggy. well done!

  8. Mary - I have to admit that when I saw the book on Amazon I had a wave of panic knowing that everyone would soon know everything about me. Then I had a good laugh as I thought to myself "It's a little late for that!"

  9. Val - So glad you and Katrina enjoyed the book! Thanks for your kind comments. Brother Patrick & Sister Sue have been incredibly supportive throughout the whole writing process (5 years!). Pat designed the cover. I called them all times of the day and night for tidbits of information like the color of the linoleum in our first house. That made it fun.

  10. I read Ms. Kennedy's story little by little, really her memoir is many stories entwined into one. I could not have read it in one sitting - like a bag of BBQ potato chips, it was best in small helpings. Ms. Kennedy's vivid account of growing up in the 60's in the Bay Area brought back many memories of how we felt, thought and acted in a middle class neighborhood, in a middle class town, under the guiding hand of San Francisco's aura, Every word enhanced her story - overwhelmingly sad at times and intensely personal. The real gift of her memoir is that so many of us with life secrets can relate. So many of us whose lives have been touched by mental illness, challenging family dynamics, contrarian roles, and difficult choices can find inspiration in her story. How wonderful that she has chosen to share.

  11. Your memoir has important messages about compassion regarding mental illness, homosexuality, and early death due to AIDS and murder. I applaud your courage to step forward with what are usually tightly held family secrets. Your intimate story allows examination of highly charged, profoundly stigmatized societal issues from a familty perspective of love. Perhaps "Approaching Neverland" will give us a bit of your courage or, at the least, increase our comfort zones in thinking about these unsettling topics.

    I am looking forward to your book reading and signing at Boarders Books, Pleasant Hill, CA, at 7:00 PM, July 16, 2009.

    Kay, a member of National Alliance on Mental Illness

  12. Thanks so much, Kay. It's time we all start talking! National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), with branches in all 50 states, provides an invaluable service to both individuals dealing with mental illnesses and their families. I encourage anyone needing support to contact NAMI at I look forward to seeing anyone who can come to the book reading and signing at Borders Pleasant Hill on July 15 :)