About the Book
Catherine Underhill Fitzpatrick’s memoir is the capstone of her writing career, the story of a woman hardened, softened, and profoundly changed during a decade that defined the modern world and crystallized her role in it. This book will sound familiar themes to women who grew up in large families where identities were fixed by gender, to women and men responsible for almost-grown children as well as aging parents, and to those balancing the dueling demands of professional and personal lives.
“What is it like to stand near Ground Zero on 9/11, watching the Twin Towers dissolve into dust and debris even as you and your siblings survive the weight of multiple deaths, mental illness, drug addiction, and more? In The Recorder of Deeds, author and award-winning journalist Catherine Underhill Fitzpatrick answers that question in gut-wrenching—yet ultimately uplifting—detail. At a time when our world has ‘razor-sharp edges,’ Fitzpatrick shows us that ‘the heart is a wondrous thing.’ This is a story about family, fealty, and ‘the importance of hope.’” Karla Linn Merrifield, Poet and Author, Psyche’s Scroll and Athabaskan Fractal: Poems of the Far North
“In The Recorder of Deeds, Catherine Underhill Fitzpatrick takes us along on her ten-year journey, a story that reveals the resilience of the human spirit and the universal truth that family is the tie that binds. With a fine eye for detail and lushly written observations, Fitzpatrick grabs our attention in the opening sentences and leaves us sputtering, ‘Tell me more.’” Carol S. Cole, Former Features Editor, St. Louis Globe Democrat
“Reading The Recorder of Deeds is akin to taking a long walk through the highs and lows, the triumphs and losses that make up a life well lived. Here is a woman who faces a mirror of memories without a blink. To open her life to others, many of whom she will never meet, is an act of courage. Any and all who join her story will see reflections of their own lives. It is a comfort to know that none of us is alone during the struggles and joys of living.” Miles Goodwin, Contributing essayist, This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women