Once More We Saw Stars

A Memoir
Narrated by: Jayson Greene
Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (289 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“A gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss.” (Cheryl Strayed)

For fans of The Bright Hour and When Breath Becomes Air, a moving, transcendent memoir of loss and a stunning exploration of marriage in the wake of unimaginable grief.

As the story opens: Two-year-old Greta Greene is sitting with her grandmother on a park bench on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A brick crumbles from a windowsill overhead, striking her unconscious, and she is immediately rushed to the hospital. But although it begins with this event and with the anguish Jayson and his wife, Stacy, confront in the wake of their daughter's trauma and the hours leading up to her death, Once More We Saw Stars quickly becomes a narrative that is as much about hope and healing as it is about grief and loss. Jayson recognizes, even in the midst of his ordeal, that there will be a life for him beyond it - that if only he can continue moving forward, from one moment to the next, he will survive what seems unsurvivable. 

With raw honesty, deep emotion, and exquisite tenderness, he captures both the fragility of life and absoluteness of death, and most important of all, the unconquerable power of love. This is an unforgettable memoir of courage and transformation - and an audiobook that will change the way you look at the world.

©2019 Jayson Greene (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“How do we wrest beauty out of searing pain? How, in the face of the most profound grief and sorrow, do we search for meaning and find it? Jayson Greene does just that in this soul-affirming book. Once More We Saw Stars is a stunning human achievement as well as a literary one.” (Dani Shapiro)

“Jayson Greene’s Once More We Saw Stars attains flight in a language born of sheer necessity, that of bridging the gulf between daily life and the unnamable.” (Jonathan Lethem) 

“In Once More We Saw Stars, Jayson Greene crystallizes the bravery required for parenting, the insanity within grief, the struggle and haven of marriage, the durability of love in all its forms. This is a book about how we make sense of suffering and what it means to be a family. It’s funny, lucid, and deeply generous - proof that a masterful writer can make from his own specifics a universal story with lessons for us all.” (Lucy Kalanithi) 

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What listeners say about Once More We Saw Stars

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It will open your heart if you let it.

I’ll be the first to admit I never thought I’d go near this one. As the mom of my own two toddlers, I didn’t think my heart could take a parent’s memoir about losing his two-year-old daughter after she was struck in the head by a falling brick. But then I saw that glowing blurb by Cheryl Strayed on the cover, and I braced myself because I knew I was going in.

Listening to Jayson Greene tell the story of grieving his daughter, Greta, is like walking through a fire and coming out the other side with more love, more compassion, and more understanding about the sacred things in life. It’s a very special listen that makes the scary stuff feel more okay. And it will open your heart if you let it ❤️

6 people found this helpful

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Beautiful memoir.

I found this memoir extremely well written and deeply moving. It is read by the author and he does a beautiful job at relating such a painful and tragic story. I highly recommend this memoir.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful book about the worst thing that could happen to a family.

This book was hard for me to read because we too lost a 2 year old in 1970 from a sudden childhood illness. Our daughter was almost 4 at the time. A year later we were blessed to have another son. Jayson captured the feelings and emotions amazingly. I almost felt like I was experiencing their loss along with them. I only wish that grief counseling had been available to us. Somehow we survived those years. Thank you for sharing your story. Betsy S., Fairhope, AL

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I'll Never Get that Time Back

Worst narration. Just awful waste of my time. He should have kept it as a journal for himself and whomever he chose to share it with.

1 person found this helpful

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Not My Cup of Tea

So I got through about 25% of this book before I gave up on it. It’s a tragic story and I’m sure the adjustment that the family went through was both moving and profound. But after a quarter of the way through I felt that the story was dull and my attention span was sinking. At the risk of sounding callous, I thought it better to just quit rather than having to endure.

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  • CB
  • 12-22-19

Beautiful writing, robotic narration

Hard to listen to because the narrator’s and timbre sounds computer-generated. Otherwise important book about loss, grief, and healing.

1 person found this helpful

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exhaustingly sad yet ultimately hopeful

deeply personal, well written and at times hard to both pick up and then put down as well.

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This is heartbreaker, but wonderfully written.

Take your time and get your tissues. Jason takes you into the depths of pain only a parent who has lost a child may be capable of describing. I am inspired by this man's strength in writing and reading this story.

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Beautifully written

A beautifully written story of loving you child in life but also in death. As a mother myself of a 22 year old son and a 20 year old daughter, I caught myself getting choked up many, many times.

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Phenomenal

I am 3 months out from the death of my nearly 4 year old son. It took a month to get through this audiobook as some parts struck too deep and I would need a break.
through Jayson words I was able to confront things in my own grief and have absolutely added Golden Willow to a list of places I want to go. This road, of bereaved parents, is so difficult. Always such a balancing act. This book was beautiful. Thank you for giving me hope. I will remember you Greta along with my Liam, forever 💛