Mark Baker is well known for his bestselling memoir The Fiftieth Gate, a book in which he chronicles the journey he made with his Holocaust survivor parents back to Poland. But this book is a chronicle of a different kind. His beloved wife of 33 years, Kerryn, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stomach cancer. She died ten months later. The thirty days of the title refers to the sloshim, a Jewish rite of mourning after burial. During that time, Baker goes to ground scouring his memories and his home trying to recapture the essence of a deep and loving marriage. His grief knows no bounds and the reader is inexorably drawn into that house of mourning.
Thirty Days is hard going because the pain is so palpable and seemingly neverending. And yet, at the same time, it uplifts because of the love it bears.